When my son changed grades in school he cried, “I want my teacher for life!” We had to help him realize that changing teachers is a part of life. We may wonder: Is there any relationship that can last a lifetime?
Jacob, the patriarch, found out there is one. After living through many dramatic changes and losing loved ones along the way, he realized there had been a constant presence in his life. He prayed, “May the God . . . who has been my shepherd all my life to this day . . . bless these boys” (Gen. 48:15–16).
Jacob had been a shepherd, so he compared his relationship to God as that of a shepherd and his sheep. From the time a sheep is born through its growth to old age the shepherd cares for it day and night. He guides it during the day and protects it during the night. David, also a shepherd, had the same conviction, but he highlighted the eternal dimension to it when he said, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).
Changing teachers is a part of life. But how good it is to know that we can have a relationship for life. The Shepherd has promised to be with us every day of our earthly existence (Matt. 28:20). And when life here ends, we will be closer to Him than ever.
Father, I thank You for being the Shepherd of my life. I praise Your faithfulness.
God never abandons us.
Jacob was the first person in the Bible to affectionately call Yahweh “my shepherd” (Gen. 48:15). The psalmists as well as the prophets celebrate God as a shepherd who leads, cares for, and protects His people. Hundreds of years later, Jesus said that He is the Good Shepherd who knows and loves us (John 10:11–14). And the apostle John envisioned the Lamb of God as the shepherd leading the sheep to springs of living water (Rev. 7:17).
Are you weary from life’s struggles? Refresh yourself with knowing that Jesus is your Good Shepherd who leads, loves, and cares for you.