Shepherd’s Job?

Well, to be honest, this is what my mind perceives when you say the word shepherd.

One lonely man with one rod and one job.
You see the same green pastures and rivers, the same sheep, same rod all day – everyday.
Probably doing this just to earn a living from sheep’s wool or milk.
You can’t communicate with the sheep with words, and sometimes dumb sheep don’t understand what you’re asking them to do, they get lost and you have to be responsible for the life of the poor sheep.

Probably sounds like the most boring routine job in the entire world right? Wrong.

Its 3AM, and I just can’t sleep on this tonight.

Psalm 78:72 (NKJV)
So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Psalm 78:72 (NLT)
He cared for them with a true heart
and led them with skillful hands.

King David shepherded God’s people with his heart, guided them with his hands.
King David was known for fanning off wolves, slaying lions and bears for the sake of the sheep.
King David was probably the best known shepherd in all bible history.

Thoughts provoked. Wasn’t shepherding just a job?
I mean, we are dealing with sheep here. Sheep don’t do human talk. Sheep are oblivious. How would a man shepherd with a heart?

Hey, I’m as confused as you. I’ve been in church half my life, I didn’t get this. You could have friends, you could have popularity, you can play the guitar skilfully, you do sports really well, but above all these you chose have a heart for a herd of dumb sheep? Really David? Are you that stupid?

But maybe… Just maybe… That was the reason why God chose David to lead His people. To lead a clueless people who had no revelation of God and His kingdom. A people that were oblivious to the mercies of God. A people who were blind the wonders of God. A people that forgot the God that guided them with a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night.

But how? How did David understand the principle of shepherding with a heart, guiding with skillfulness of hand?

Glad you asked. I was wondering the same too. Maybe this Psalm might help you understand.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.


David could shepherd with a heart because God is his Shepherd with a heart.

He was first shepherded before he could be a shepherd.

  • God shepherded David with integrity of heart.

When David had no rest, God led him rest in green meadows.
When David had no peace, God led him beside peaceful streams.
When David had no strength, God renewed him in his strength.

  • God guided David with skilfulness of hand.

When David was lost, God guided Him along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
When David was in his darkest valley, God was close beside him.
When David needed protection and comfort, God’s Rod protected and comforted.

To think that God had blown my mind enough, I asked God one last question.

Why would David charge at a lion with a club to deliver a dumb sheep from the mouth lion’s mouth (1 Samuel 17:35)?

God said, “Because David saw himself as the sheep in danger, and I am the good shepherd to him.”
Psalm 23:6 – The goodness and unfailing love of God PURSUED him. (To pursue is to chase with the intention of apprehension.)

For all of us,

We are all lost sheep. We all grow tired. We fall down in life sometimes, and may even blame God for it.
Here’s a word for you: God is the good shepherd. He watches out for you.
He is the rest to the tired
He is the peace to the restless
He is the strength to the weak
He is the protection to the powerless
He is the light to your darkest valley
He is the Good Shepherd.

For the church leaders and church builders,

Every time any of the ‘sheep’ leaves God or runs away from God, or to witness the ‘sheep’ fall into the mouth of the lion…
I’m smashed. I take it upon myself many a times…
But we cannot loose the integrity of our heart. We must grow in be wiser in counsel. We must charge at the lion.

The green pastures is not just grass, its a haven of peace and rest.
The rod is not just another rod, but it is the rod of protection and comfort.
Shepherding is not a job and it will never be just a job. Its a calling, its a mandate.

If you’re a liker, hater, neutral. But you’ve found this article interesting in any way.
go ahead, like it, share it, leave a comment.

I’ll see you around 🙂


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