WHAT KIND OF HOME?
"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently led those that are with young" (Isaiah 40:11).
Let's talk now about one of the most loved names of God.
Jehovah-Ra'ah--the Lord my Shepherd
How wonderful that God reveals Himself to us by different names. If we only knew Him by one name, we would not understand the complete fullness of who He is. We live in awe of our righteous, holy God who must judge all sin. But, then He reveals Himself to us as the Shepherd, the one who bends down to tend our needs (Psalm 113:5-9) and who protects us and gather us up in His arms (Isaiah 40:11). This name speaks of the intimate relationship we can experience with Him, for the word "shepherd" also means "to be a friend, a companion, to keep company with." A Bedouin shepherd in Israel testified that even if he were blindfolded he would know each one of his sheep by feeling their faces. Our Shepherd wants to have an intimate and tender relationship with us. The psalmist calls God, "MY Shepherd," and repeatedly the Great Shepherd of the sheep calls us "MY flock."
As we build a home to the name of our gentle and tender Shepherd, we will teach our children that He wants to be their personal Savior and Shepherd. We will be careful not to do anything in our home that will grieve our Shepherd who wants to be intimately involved in everything we do.
Our Shepherd has a great shepherding heart and He wants us to shepherd our little flock in the same way He shepherds His flock. Shepherding is an enormous undertaking and from the Scriptures and the Hebrew meanings of the word "shepherd" we find that it includes the following tender and powerful ministries. You will see that a shepherd must be both brave and tender. Let God teach you as you read them.
It means befriending with an intimate relationship, binding and bandaging up the hurt and broken, bravely fighting off all enemies, bringing back the straying and wandering ones, carrying the lambs close to your heart, comforting, encouraging the weary, eliminating fear in the dark and anxious times, feeding, gathering in your arms and to your heart, gently leading, guarding and watching over your flock, guiding your flock on the "right track," healing the sickly, increasing the flock, keeping them safe, leading to rest and rich green pastures, nourishing, persevering until you find the lost, preparing a table, protecting, providing, rescuing when they turn to by-paths, restoring (renewing, reviving, and refreshing), ruling with wisdom and discretion, sacrificing and laying down your life for your flock, saving your flock, searching and seeking the lost ones, strengthening the weak, and tenderly folding your flock. My, what an amazing mission you have as a shepherdess.
Embrace this beautiful role. It is not insignificant. I would suggest you read the above paragraph over and over. It is too much to comprehend in one reading. Did you know that shepherding is talked about in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation? God chose two of the greatest leaders of all time from shepherding the sheep, Moses and King David (Exodus 3:1-10 and Psalm 78:70-72). God looks for parents who will shepherd after His own heart (Jeremiah 3:15). And because our little flock is really His flock, He requires them at our hand (Ezekiel 34:10). He wants us to diligently know the state of our little flock (Proverbs 27:23).
How can we be the shepherdess He wants us to be? We certainly can't do it in our own strength and wisdom, but be encouraged for Micah 5:4 tells us that Jesus Christ will "stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God." If that is how He shepherds, that's the only way we can do it, too. You can do it in HIS strength.
Jehovah-Shammah--The Lord is There
We now look at the last redemptive name of God, another precious name. We find this amazing prophetic promise in Ezekiel 48:35, "And the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there." The temple was destroyed, Judah had been taken as captives to Babylon, and only a small remnant remained in the land. There did not seem any hope for the restoration of Israel or the temple. But God's promise comes to give hope. Again He says in Ezekiel 43:7 that this will be the "place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever."
The understanding of this name is the holy and glorious presence of God. It is God in the midst! What could be more powerful? In the Old Testament God dwelt in a temporary tabernacle and then the temple. God said, "I have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle" (2 Samuel 7:6). But, when Jesus died upon the cross, the thick veil protecting the Holy of Holies was torn apart and now He wants to abide in your heart. He also loves to dwell in your home, because He is a dwelling God.
He wants to live and walk with you in your home. He wants to fill every room of your home. Because your body is the dwelling place of His Holy Spirit, every task you do is sacred. Mothering is a holy career. Nothing is mundane. When you are changing a diaper, scrubbing the floor, doing endless dishes and laundry, and tending to the myriads of needs of your little ones, God is with you. Every little thing you do is sacred and holy because God is with you.
God also wants you to reveal to your children the awesome understanding of Jehovah-Shammah. As you are home with your children and available to them, you show to your children this quality of the character of God. Your children learn that "God is always there," just as you are always available and there for them.
Love from Nancy Campbell
"Oh Great Jehovah Shammah, help me to realize that life is not all about doing, but to BE THERE and available to my children is a powerful way of showing my children your character. Help me to be a Rock and Fortress to my children. Amen."
I will be both a brave and tender shepherd to my flock.
FURTHER SCRIPTURES ABOUT HOLDING UP THE BANNER:
Numbers 1:52; 2:2, 17, 34; Psalm 20:5; 60:4; Song of Solomon 2:4; 6:4, 10 and Isaiah 62:10.
TO CHECK THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT SHEPHERDING, GO TO:
READ FURTHER ARTICLES ABOUT SHEPHERDING: