Our Daily Bread
- READ: Psalm 77:11-20
You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. —Psalm 77:20
During a demonstration of sheep- herding using a Border Collie, the dog
trainer explained that because sheep are highly vulnerable to wild
animals, their main defense against predators is to stay together in a
tightly knit group. “A sheep alone is a dead sheep,” the trainer said.
“The dog always keeps the sheep together as it moves them.”
The biblical image of God as our shepherd is a powerful reminder of how
much we need each other in the community of faith. When writing about
the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, the psalmist said, “[God] made
His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness
like a flock; and He led them
on safely, so that they did not fear” (Ps. 78:52-53).
As part of God’s flock, we who have trusted Christ are under His guiding,
protecting hand while being surrounded by the shielding presence of
others. We are part of a larger body of believers in which there is
safety and accountability.
While we don’t give up our personal responsibility for thought and action as
members of the flock, we are to embrace the concept of “we” rather than
“me” in our daily lives. With Christ as our Shepherd and fellow
believers around us, we find safety in the flock. —David McCasland
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love!
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above. —Fawcett
As part of God’s flock, we’re protected by Him and by each other.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.