Names of God: Governor

Names of God: Governor
by Lee Mielke

Today we look at another of the wonderful Names of Jesus/God; this time “Governor” or “Ruler” as some translations have it in Matt. 2:6; (quoting from the Prophet in Micah 5:2)

“And you Bethlehem land of Judah
ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH;
FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME A GOVERNOR/RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.”

We know who our Governor is; Jay Inslee, whether we want to admit that right now or not….LOL….But who is our real Governor?

The Greek word used in Matt. 2 is “Hegeomai” and it primarily signifies to lead on or to lead forward. To be the chief or principal, to preside, govern, or rule, whether in a temporal sense or in a spiritual one.

That is indeed Who Jesus is, our “RULING SHEPHERD!”

Are WE following that Ruling Shepherd?

Are YOU?

And he is a Shepherd.

The Scripture speaks of His people being His sheep and we love that analogy until we realize that sheep are some of the dumbest animals that walk the face of the earth. Not exactly a compliment….however we do resemble that remark!

But, by the sheep following the Ruler/Shepherd, we who were “considered as sheep to be slaughtered,” as it says in Romans 8, can become “conquering sheep,” in fact we are “more than conquers,” or we “overwhelmingly conquer.”

REALLY?

Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron?

I love how Bible teacher David Jeremiah speaks of this passage. He points out that there are no professional sports teams called sheep.

Looking at football, we have the Rams, the Bears, the Lions, even the Seahawks, but no sheep….and yet that is what God calls us.

As I contemplate the suffering and resurrection of our Ruler Shepherd in this Lenten season, I can only baaaaa in submission, praise Him in my “sheepish way,” and follow wherever He leads me.

Go out into the world ye mighty conquering sheep and don’t let Satan “pull the wool over your eyes.”

~Lee Mielke

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Lead Us On

He tends his flock like a shepherd
Isaiah 40:11a

“What a simple verse,” most people would say. But though this verse is small, it has a big meaning.

When I read “shepherd” in the Bible, I think of comfort, especially when it is picturing Jesus. The “he” in this verse is talking about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Right now this verse comforts me because on the news I heard about all the strife and shootings in the world. The Good Shepherd is with me.

A shepherd herds his sheep and leads them in the right path. There is a song we are singing in our school’s spring program that goes like this:

In this world of fear and doubt
With temptations all about
Hold to my hand
Dear Lord I pray
Let me put my faith in Thee
Till the homeland I shall see.
Lord, lead me on from day to day.

Lord, do lead us on. Lead us in the right path and let us know that everything is for good. Tend us like a shepherd.

–Noa Lovegren, age 11

Watching Over the Flock

 

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Luke  2:8

 

I remember watching a herdsman driving his little flock of goats along the side of a grassy slope on the coast of South Africa, watching how with precision he would gather the strays, all while keep the herd together.  I marveled at how he could direct this group of flighty animals all in the direction he willed while not letting a single one fall behind.   Growing up on a farm and later having goats of our own, I remember nights where we would be watching over a sick goat or cow through the night, trying to make sure it would see the light of the next day.

 

I do not find it very complimentary when God compares us to sheep — needy and helpless.  But when you think about the way that those shepherds watched over their flock on the hills of Israel, giving special attention to the sick and also looking ahead and planning the next place to go to sustain the flock.  Every action the shepherd makes is with the good of the flock in mind.  He knows the state of the flock.

 

Our heavenly Father has done the same for us through the history of the world and when often all we can think about is our own needs.  As Christ’s people, we are his concern, just like the flock is the shepherd’s concern.  God sent his Son to earth for his glory, for the redemption of his flock.
~Leslie Siebring

Carried Close to the Heart

He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart
Isaiah 40:11

I was blessed with three cuddly babies.  Each settled right into the crook of my arm, snuggling to be fed, sleeping soundly with my heartbeat echoing in their ear.  In fact, they were so comfortable it rarely worked to easily separate from them,  trying to slowly, carefully, imperceptibly lower them into their crib without their awakening.  Many quiet hours were spent rocking with them gathered close, comforting me as I comforted them.

Not every baby cuddles so contentedly.  When picked up, they become all arms and legs and arching back, grimacing and howling as they try to wiggle away, with no goal other than seeking perceived freedom.   Struggling their way out of snuggling.   Instead of comfort, it is perceived as confinement, restraint instead of respite.

There was a time, years ago, when I too was restless and uneasy about being gathered up and held close.  I wanted to go my own way, pursue a different path, staying independent and rebellious.  I’m astonished to this day that I was missed,  sought out, picked up and gently carried back home.

Now I know there is no greater freedom than what is found within those arms, next to that heart.

Feed His Flock

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
Isaiah 40:11

Lonely business, shepherding.  Unless you happen to like the company of dozens of sheep and their doggy guards.  Then it becomes just the right kind of fellowship–though a bit vocal, maybe somewhat wayward, with a tendency to decide their own path unless constantly supervised and guided.   It really is a labor of love.

There is one truth about sheep:  if there is meadow to graze and they sense safety in numbers with their protectors near, they are pretty content.

I’m definitely more sheep than shepherd, hungry to be fed and happy to keep my nose down in the pasture, very glad to be part of a larger body, though at times still skittish enough to make a run for it on my own if I lose my bearings.   Then the shepherd has to haul me back into the flock again, reminding me where I belong, and from where my sustenance comes.  Alone, on my own, I’m coyote fodder.

Might I gradually become more shepherd than sheep someday?   Becoming more caretaker than cared over, to feed others rather than be fed?

If I ever do, I won’t think of it as labor, but rather see it as a privilege, a gift of love.