Shepherds and Shepherding
The sheep owner frequently tends the flocks himself. In such cases the sheep have good care because the keepers have a personal interest in the well-being of the animals, but when they are attended by a hireling (1Sa_17:20) the flocks may be neglected or abused (Isa_56:10, Isa_56:11; Eze_34:8, Eze_34:10; Zec_11:15, Zec_11:17; Joh_10:12). The chief care of the shepherd is to see that the sheep find plenty to eat and drink. The flocks are not fed in pens or folds, but, summer and winter, must depend upon foraging for their sustenance (Psa_23:2).
Goats hunt out the best feeding-grounds, but sheep are more helpless and have to be led to their food (compare Num_27:16, Num_27:17); nor do they possess the instinct of many other animals for finding their way home (compare Eze_34:6-8).
Flocks should be watered at least once a day. Where there are springs or streams this is an easy matter. Frequently the nearest water is hours away. One needs to travel in the dry places in Syria or Palestine, and then enter the watered valleys like those in Edom where the flocks are constantly being led for water, to appreciate the Psalmist’s words, “He leadeth me beside still waters.” Sometimes water can be obtained by digging shallow wells (Gen_26:18-22, Gen_26:25, Gen_26:32). The shepherd frequently carries with him a pail from which the sheep can drink when the water is not accessible to them. The usual time for watering is at noon, at which time the flocks are led to the watering-places (Gen_29:2, Gen_29:3).
After drinking, the animals lie down or huddle together in the shade of a rock while the shepherd sleeps. At the first sound of his call, which is usually a peculiar guttural sound, hard to imitate, the flock follow off to new feeding-grounds. Even should two shepherds call their flocks at the same time and the sheep be intermingled, they never mistake their own master’s voice (Joh_10:3-5).
I thought this might help a little. You know where it all comes from. It comes from E-Sword! All readily available to you at the click of a button.
You have probably worked out by now I am giving you time to look at John 10 for yourself and see what you think. It probably drives some of you crazy because you want to move on to “the good pasture” now. Learn to find the good stuff for yourself. I am delighted that numbers of you are finding the Bible Gems exciting and it is turning you on to the Bible. You can’t wait for the next exciting instalment. Love it – well you will have to wait for a little longer. Next Gem we will do a flash back to an earlier bit that some of you have asked about.
Feel free to give me your input, comments and questions. Tell me when my methods work and are helpful and when I need to change them.
Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell your storm how big your God is.Ian Vail