Sheep of the Flock
Briefing: The first time I went to the National Law Enforcement Memorial, I remember seeing the great bronze statutes of the lions that “guard and protect” the park, symbolic of peace officers around the country who guard and protect their communities.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 80.
On the Street: High Schools, Colleges, Universities, and professional teams all have mascots. They can range from bugs to titans and everything in between. No matter what the mascot is, it usually represents an idea or aspect of the people using it. The United States has an eagle for its symbol. Russia uses a bear, and England a lion. Even states have official state birds or animals. I grew up in, and graduated from, Cleburne High School. Our mascot was the yellow jacket. After high school, I attended and graduated from, Tarleton State University. We were the Tarleton Texans.
Speaking of Texas, most of our professional teams have symbols that relate to Texas. We are very proud of our state and our heritage. My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys. Locally, we also have the Dallas Mavericks, the Texas Rangers, and the Dallas Stars. We like to think the Dallas Stars chose the star as their mascot because they reside in the Lone Star State, not because of their previous name. We also have the Houston Texans, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and the Houston Astros (NASA’s Johnson Space Center is in Houston).
When I think of what mascot would best fit the Israelites, I think of a lion. Lions are proud, ferocious, kings of the jungle. The truth of the matter is, they are better represented by the lamb or the sheep. Sheep are the dumbest, most skittish and helpless animals around. They are helpless without a shepherd. They rely on the shepherd for everything, where they sleep, where they eat, and most importantly, their protection.
In verse 1 the psalmist writes, “Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth” As discussed in the last chapter, this is the proper place of humility for anyone in need of rescue. As we saw in the last verse of Psalm 79, “Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” Asaph wrote both of these psalms and knows what God requires. This is the posture God expects from His people. How do we know this? He tells us throughout His Word.
Psalm 18:27, “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” He saves the humble. Psalm 25:9, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” He guides the humble. Psalm 149:4, “For the LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.” He delights in the humble and crowns them!
When I was in third grade, there was a game where we were asked, “If you could be any animal, what would you be?” My answer was a lion. Being older and a little wiser now, my answer would be different. I would be one of the sheep who follow The Master.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23 and He is the Good Shepherd of John 10:1-21, who lays down His life for His sheep.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 23, John 10:1-21, 2 Chronicles 18:16, Psalm 28:9, and Isaiah 40:11.
Officer Safety Principle: Humble yourself and follow The Master.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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