I love the picture that this story paints:
‘But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth…”’ (1 Samuel 17: 34, 35)
I’ve never lived on a farm or worked with farm animals, so the attachment to one’s sheep is a little strange to me, and hard to grasp. Why would David risk his life like that to rescue one sheep? I know how dogs can be, especially the Rottweiler breed (which I’ve sort of grown up with), when you touch their food or if they even think you want the food that’s in their mouth. I’m talking about “I’m going to bite off your hand,” kinda crazy. How much more, a lion? Why on earth would David do that?
Later on, someone else uses a similar analogy to just try to explain to us how much he loves us, and what he was prepared to do for us. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” –Jesus Christ (John 10:11)
I’m sheep; you’re sheep. And so are they.
When I think about the image of someone plucking sheep out of the mouth of a lion, it fills me with passion. This is what Christ has done for me, and this is the love he’s asking me to walk in. There are people who are in all kinds of trouble, and they need somebody who knows Somebody. People need the truth that Jesus is. They need to know the word of life that He gave. They need to experience His touch, His love, and His power. They need someone who has tasted of the living water to show them the way to the living water.
I want to be that someone. I know the heart of the good shepherd; He’s constantly looking for the lost, and rejoicing when the lost is found. He doesn’t hold our sins over our heads. He’s the kind of God that runs out to meet the prodigal son, and welcome him home like nothing happened.
I love the Lord. The Lord loves me. The Lord has laid down His life for me. The Lord has laid down His life for us. For them.
We are all loved.