Peace in Difficult Times (Day 4)

Author: David Bibee

One of the greatest joys of Bible study is catching glimpses, like a flash of inspiration, of Jesus himself concealed under the language of the Old Testament. Psalm 23, perhaps the most beloved passage in the whole Bible, discusses God’s care of his people Israel, as a shepherd who leads them and guides them. Like a shepherd, God led his people out of bondage in Egypt, freeing them from slavery and setting them apart from all the peoples of the earth. But there was coming a greater exodus and a greater revelation of our shepherding God. He would not only lead his people from physical bondage, but from spiritual bondage—slavery to sin and death itself. In Christ, God shows himself to be with us in an unimaginable way. Not a faraway God, but now God in the flesh, who humbled himself by becoming a man, even giving up his life for our salvation. 
Each one of us have gone astray, but Christ has compassion on us, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). He came to rescue the wanderers and redeem the lost. Though we were captive to sin and death, Christ came that he could lead us out of darkness and into the light of his kingdom. 
He did this not for “those people” out there, but for you—yes, even you. Covered in brambles and unable to escape the thorns, Christ takes his shepherd’s staff, seizes us by grace, and raises us up from sure death to never-ending life. He makes us to lie down in green pastures we would never have found. As we learn to rely upon him, he makes our lives become an oasis of still waters. Even though we walk through the valley of death, our shepherd has overcome the grave so that, one day, even death will hold us no longer.  He is the Good Shepherd who “calls his own sheep by name” (John 10:3). Do you hear his call? 

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