“Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock; he will gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap. He will gently guide the nursing ewes.” – Isaiah 40:11
Some people say that the God of the First Testament is not as loving as the God of the Second Testament and I can understand why. Yet I think Isaiah’s picture of a loving shepherd describes God in both powerful and yet loving terms. God is like a shepherd who gathers lambs in his arms and holds them close to his heart. Jesus later said he is the kind of shepherd who will not only care for this sheep, he also will give up his life for them. And that’s exactly what he did by dying on the cross in our place. In the greatest transaction in all of human history, Jesus, the shepherd foretold by Isaiah, took all our sins on himself so that we can be made right with God.
Like sheep, we have to recognize that we have gone astray and continue to do so. The Bible calls this straying sin. Kierkegaard defined sin this way: Sin is not simply doing bad things, but putting good things in the place of God. He goes on to suggest that the only solution is not to change our behavior but to reorient our hearts and life around God.
Take a few moments today to reorient yourself around the God who “like a shepherd, will tend the flock” and “gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap.”