Posts Tagged ‘Shepherd’


Deuteronomy 6 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life… Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land… The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

There are some challenging statements made in today’s chapter that we might wonder about specially because it could put our faith in Christ in jeopardy. Why does God throw us this curve ball? (more…)

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Leviticus 8:1-3,6,10,14,18,22,30,36 The LORD said to Moses, “Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting”… Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water… Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them… He then presented the bull for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head… He then presented the ram for the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head… He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head… Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments… So Aaron and his sons did everything the LORD commanded through Moses.

Finally we reach the moment when all that God had instructed Moses and the Israelites regarding the tabernacle came to fruition and the tabernacle or God’s temporary dwelling place was ready to start functioning as it was meant to be.

This certainly was a big moment for the wandering Israelites and especially so for Aaron and his sons who were consecrated to be priests to God!

In all this celebration of the Israelites, what is God speaking to us today? (more…)


Exodus 30:1,6,12,16,20,21,25,36 “Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense… Put the altar in front of the curtain that is before the ark of the Testimony—before the atonement cover that is over the Testimony—where I will meet with you… “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them… Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD, making atonement for your lives”… Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come”… Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil… Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.

If not for awe, I am unsure what other emotion I can express for God who has not left a single stone unturned in terms of His plan for a place to dwell among His people.

Not only has God shown an ability to plan to perfection but His provision of skills, material and willingness to the Israelites show He is a master orchestrator and is beyond brilliant!!!

The question again this morning is to understand how all this relates to us who live nearly 3,500 years after this incident? (more…)


Exodus 3:1-2,18-22 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed… And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

We come to the point in Moses’ life where he is being called into God’s service, and like I was once reminded, this was the third third of his life. The first forty years were spent as royalty in Egypt, the next forty as a shepherd in the land of Midian and the last forty as leader of a nation as he led the captive Israelites away from Egyptian bondage.

We note God’s amazing way of getting a shepherd’s attention, the forward covenant God makes with Moses to show He will see him through, the great promise of delivery, the leadership role Moses would be given, the acceptance of the elders of Israel, the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart and finally the plunder of the Egyptians after their women give their riches.

God heard the mourning of the Israelites who had to toil day and night for the oppressive Egyptians. This was foretold to Abraham, came to pass and now we wonder why God would permit such suffering.

Four hundred and thirty years of oppression is what the Israelites had to undergo before they were led out of Egypt and does that not seem a bit much of suffering? (more…)


Genesis 46:1-4,31-34 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes”… Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ “When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”

Finally Israel and his large family, 75 in all, move to Goshen to go to live with his son, Joseph. A fitting end to a harsh and painful journey that Joseph was subjected to for no fault of his.

What joy Israel (Jacob) must have felt knowing that his son that he once lost is now found and not just found but is well and has made such a name for himself. Also, what a joy it must have been for Israel to know that his God, the God of his fathers was confirming to him that he was to go down to Egypt and God would make him a great nation there!

God certainly has wonderful ways of bringing about His will but is that what today’s passage is about? (more…)


Genesis 33:4-5,12-14,18-20 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant”… Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.” But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

What a blessed journey this has been for Jacob, a journey that took 20 years to complete filled with treachery, deception, labour for love, sincere hard work, fleeing from bondage and so much more.

Jacob’s faith is revealed when he credit’s God for his significant family and wealth and his changed heart shown when he insist that Esau accept his extravagant gifts as an offering of thanks for his warm reception.

What lingered as a question to me was why he did not simply go back with Esau to his homeland after all these many blessings? (more…)


Genesis 4:1-8 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

After reading about the fall of man previously we move on to the lives of the children of Adam and Eve. This is again a story familiar to most people because it highlights an error on God’s part or so it seems.

Why was God biased towards Abel over Cain when both of them brought their first fruits as an offering to Him? What does God want to teach us today? (more…)