A Shepherd Shepherds, Duh!

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“Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?'”  John 16:31Image

I’m so glad that You know how to cut to the core.  I’m so glad that You don’t see as we see; but that You look on the heart.   I’m so glad You don’t just scan over things like I have a tendency to do, like man has a tendency toward.  We look or scan over what’s apparent and appealing to our eyes and physical senses and put it into relation to what we already know and then interpret it according to that.  Buzz!  Faulty thinking!  Because the fact is, what do I know?  Who am I to compare anything to?

But You see and look differently at things.  Even the way we discern things is deficient to Your discernment.  So, when I look and even get to the point of paying attention and I decide to discern and really see what is going on, it’s still faulty.  I think the first step to really knowing is to admit that I don’t know.  I don’t think that I can truly know anything of value unless I let You show me and bring me to know what You know.

Here’s the disciples preceding response, “Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”  And I guess what sets me off here, is this seeming emphasis on You knowing “all things.”  But it’s not just that You know about all things.  It’s not just that You have good advice for everything and everyone.  Because the fact of the matter is that You ARE Knowledge.  You are Everything that Matters.  And until we see that, until I see that, do I really get it?  Do I really believe Who You Are?  Am I really entrusting You with all of me?  Do I really have faith?  Am I really walking in You?

This “knowing” actually has to do with seeing.  It’s used twice in the disciple’s response.  They basically said, “We see that you see all things.”  And as I read that, and I do have the characteristic that I tend to read into things, but I see them seeing equal with You, Lord.  And I think that’s why You stopped them.  Because You were trying to get us to see that we can’t see like You on our own.  It’s not something we attain knowledge about and do.  It’s not that once we get enough insights or practice or hear enough stories or walk with You enough days, our minds naturally all of a sudden see as You see.  It’s just not humanly possible.

You said, “Really?  If you actually see like I see and understand, and I mean really understand who I am, then why are you going to all run away in fear and scatter and leave me alone in just a short time?  Maybe you don’t really know what you think you know.  Maybe you don’t really know Me as much as you need to know Me.  Maybe You need my intervention more than you know and more than you see.”

In Scripture there is a seeing that is just a glance and there is a seeing that is a perceiving.  And I felt I needed to go to the Old Testament to see the Hebrew equivalents.  I came up with “nabath” and “raah.”  And sometimes like “nabath” we can take a quick glance or even do a studied examination, we can look, pay attention and even consider a thing, or You deeply and we can still miss the point.

But then I got pointed to something I didn’t know about “raah.”  Now, I know that Your name Jehovah means “The Existing One”  which gives me great comfort and strength in knowing.   But let’s go deeper into that with the Blue Letter Bible.  “The chief meaning of Jehova is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning ‘to be’ or ‘to exist.’  It also suggests ‘to become’ or specifically ‘to become known’- this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.   Roeh from which Raah derived, meand ‘shepherd’ in Hebrew.  A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Eze 34:11-15).  An entended translation of this word, rea’, is ‘friend’ or ‘companion.’  This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and his people.”

Wait a minute!  How did I get from seeing and knowing, to God being Shepherd?  Well, I think things are just going to have to swirl around in a whirlwind until they all come together, because You’re bringing on a lot of truths this morning that all funnel into one strong point.  And I pray that You drive that strong point home in me today.

So, here You’ve brought me to this compound name of You, Jehovah Raah, or Jehovah Roi.  And You joined these names together to help me understand Your relationship to me, to help me see and understand and know Your characteristics that make You so tremendously real and personal.  So now I have to stop and ask myself “What are You like if You are the Lord my Shepherd?”  Do sheep really have ANY knowledge of what they need or what is good for them?  Thank goodness that You know everything I need and everything that is good for me.  Not only that, but You alone are the one who meets all those needs.  Dr. Joe Temple said, “If you reach the place in your spiritual experience where the Lord is your Shepherd, and that’s all you want, you won’t want for anything because the Word says, ‘If we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.'”  BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

Oh, no, that’s not all!  Look at Ezekiel 34 from verses 13 and 14, where You are shepherding Your people, Your sheep, and how You will do that as You, “feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers…I will feed them in a good pasture.”  This word for “feed” is that same word, the same one for shepherd.  That’s like saying a shepherd shepherds.  But that’s the point!  All of You does what all of You is.  You don’t have what we need.  You can’t just give us what we need.  The point is, YOU ARE WHAT I NEED!  You give me You.  You are my Food.  You are my Delight.  You are my Hope.  You are my Love.  It all comes from You because You are IT.  Yes, I need food and water and shelter, but You are my Provision because You are the Creator and You are in control and You are El Roi which also implies “God Who Sees.”

Precept Austin shared some wonderful insights on this aspect.  “The Greek of the Hebrew (Septuagint) translates El Roi (specifically the verb Roi as ‘sees’) with the Greek verb ephorao which is very picturesque for it means ‘to gaze upon, to fix one’s gaze on,’ and thus to regard, to show concern for in this case speaking of God’s concern for Hagar in dire straits. Ephorao is used in Acts 4:29 in a prayer asking God to ‘take note’ of their threats, to look with favor on the supplicant (the one praying). Ephorao (epeidon) is used by another woman in distress – childless Elizabeth – and when she became pregnant she exalted in the LORD saying ‘This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He LOOKED WITH FAVOR UPON me, to take away my disgrace among men.'”  So here we have this Jehovah Raah, God my Shepherd, and from the same word, we have El-Roi, the Mighty One Who Sees, who knows everything about you and takes it to the extreme of CARING.

What Hagar saw in the desert is very likely the preincarnate appearance of You, Jesus.  And I need to realize just like Hagar that “You are El Roi, God Who Sees!”  You see when we are fighting the waves and struggling to stay afloat.  You see when our sin or other’s choices have led us to die in the desert alone, You see when our hearts long.  And You don’t only care.  You see, You care, and You know what to do.  You have the answer because YOU ARE THE ANSWER.

Sometimes I’m not quite sure how I get where You take me.  But I’m so glad that I just keep trusting and following You.  Because even if it doesn’t make sense to any one else, I have spent the most precious time growing to know You more and advancing on an amazing journey.  So, here I am at Isaiah 40: 11.  And I’m just thinking how beautiful You are and how wonderful You are to me.  “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd:  He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”

So the question returns.  “Do you really believe?”  Do I really believe?  Do I really trust that You really see and know everything and that You care enough to take care of all my needs in the right way?  Do I really trust that You are the Shepherd, no, not just the Shepherd, but My Shepherd?  Do I really trust that YOU ARE EVERYTHING I NEED?  You shall feed, shepherd Your flock like a shepherd because You are the Shepherd and Shepherding is what You do.  Do I believe You will do what You are?  Do I even realize who You are?  Because once I let You really show me, once I let Your Holy Spirit guide me into the Truth that is You, I will know, yes, KNOW, what it is to be gathered, grasped in Your arms.  I will know what it is to be carried,  lifted up in Your heart.  And I will know what it is to be gently led by You.  Oh, and that “gently led” means that You are conducting me onward, protecting me, and sustaining me, guiding me and leading me continually closer to You and with You at a run with a sparkle!  Yeah, You are.  I see that sparkle in Your walk time after time.  I see it in Your eyes when You look at me.  I sense it in the excitement You share with me, like right now.  I saw it in my daughter’s eyes last night when she felt You speak to her directly through Your Word for the first time last night concerning something she was praying about.    It’s real because You are Real.

Lord, this is my personal time with You.  I crave it each morning.  It’s why I wake up really early without even needing my alarm anymore.  And, yeah, I blog it.  So I know there are others out there reading it too.  But I’m not writing it for them.  I just write what You give me.  Because Your Word is for me and for everyone who will hear.  To those who know You and are walking with You, it encourages.  To those who are straying, it convicts and draws back to You.  And to those who don’t know You and read, I pray that it urges them on to find You, to seek You, to let You make Yourself known to them.  It’s so easy to say I believe and to think I believe and to tell everyone else I believe.  But what do You say about me, Lord?  Because what You say is Truth.  See, You are God the Shepherd, You are God Who Sees.  You really see and You and only You can give us the ability to see.  And what we need to see is You.  Lord, for those of us who have seen You, continually reveal Yourself more and more that we might be instruments of revelation to others.  And Lord, for those who have not seen, let today be the day that You tear down the walls of reason or doubt, or whatever it is that holds them back.  Become our Everything, our Shepherd who Shepherds us.

 

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