PSALM 23: 1 The Lord is my shepherd.. .

The Shepherd is to Israel, what the cowboy is to America. A folk hero. Rugged, loyal, courageous, hard working, fair, and compassionate are just a few of the words that describe the shepherd of Israel in biblical times. They watched over and cared not only for their own sheep, but also the sheep of others as well. Being a shepherd is not a job, it is a calling. As the shepherd you were to supply the sheep with food and drink, with medical attention, and to protect the flock from predators both four and two legged to the point of laying down your life in defense of the flock. As one modern sheep rancher put it; sheep are among the dumbest, most stubborn, most defenseless of all the animals on the face of the earth. The sheep need constant care and protection. Perhaps now you can see why Jesus and God were both referred to as shepherds. Amen.