The Skillful Shepherd
“So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.” Psalms 78:72
God is not a micro-manager. Many believe He has a meticulously detailed plan that covers every detail of life, then imposes it on His people and orders it be carried out. This is not the way of the Shepherd.
The skillful shepherd teaches us basic principles of life. He teaches us the ways of His heart. He teaches what is right and wrong. What is wise over and against what is foolish. Then He trains us to make decisions which are in keeping with the integrity of His heart. We learn to make choices based on the guidelines He has given. We function as mature followers based on His leading, if we lose our way He graciously guides us back on the path with His skillful hands. As grown sons and daughters of God, we live in the real world and make responsible God-reverencing choices in both big and small issues of life.
The Good Shepherd sets boundaries for His sheep, but allows freedom of movement within those boundaries. He establishes limits for the safety of the sheep, but does not use His staff to point out which specific area of grass they are to graze. So the skillful Shepherd brings us into maturity.
He doesn’t seek to legislate, control, or order every single activity of our life. He establishes basic guiding principles to promote righteousness. The skillful Shepherd is not creating a nation of robots or slaves, but a kingdom of people who know His voice and follow Him. When such a relationship exists, those who are shepherded will bring honor to Him in the way they live.
Take some time to get to know the heart of the Shepherd.