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October 8, 2013

Text:  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:6-7

Do you ever feel alone? Deserted by your friends? Helpless? Do you lie awake nights grieving about your bills that are piling up? There are many causes for feeling alone, desperate, and ineffective. Do you think that everyone has left you behind and will give you no encouragement or assistance? Do you suppose that even God has abandoned you?

First, God is with you! Don’t give up on God. You may abandon God, but God will not abandon you. After Israel was freed from Egyptian slavery they had plenty of other trials.  They were pursued by their captors. God destroyed Pharaoh’s ominous army.There was no water or food. God provided water, manna, and quail for them for 40 years. There were rebels who challenged Moses’ leadership. The earth swallowed them up by God’s command. Have faith in God.  Read these verses.  Joshua 1:5; Psalms 46:1; Hebrews 13:6

The favorite of all psalms is probably Psalms 23. The writer describes himself as a sheep in God’s flock.  The shepherd provides for the sheep, finding the best food; leads the sheep so they can safely drink, provides life for the sheep’s soul, and leads him in the path of righteousness (saving him from sin).

So confident with this shepherd is this sheep that even with the threat of imminent death the sheep is trusting and calm. He knows that he is always in the presence of the shepherd (the Lord). The shepherd possesses protective weapons (rod and staff) to make the sheep secure. The blessings the shepherd provides (a fully furnished table) are manifest before enemies so that they will be convinced of the safety provided in the sheep cote.

Finally, the sheep expresses his assurance that he will continue to receive the favor of the Lord (“goodness and mercy”) all his days, in the presence of his caretaker.

Jesus reveals that he fits the description of the good shepherd of Psalm 23.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 Three times between verses 7 through 18 Jesus states that he will sacrifice himself by dying for the sheep. (verses 11, 15, 17)  Surely this is demonstration of his care for them. 

He contrasts himself with a hired hand. When wolves raid the flock the hired hand flees. Jesus owns the flock, and knowing each one, protects them. He demonstrates his ability to secure the sheep by repelling evil  and exerting his care. Certainly then we may cast our cares upon him.  “…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

Remember that God cares for you and stands ready to fortify and assist you. Depend upon him every day.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19


One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Well written and thought out. We all need to know that God cares for us and acts on our behalf.–ls

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