Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Seven Redemptive Names of God....#3...Jehovah-Ra-ah

Jehovah Ra-ah is translasted "The Lord is my Shepherd".  He became our Shepherd by giving "His life for the sheep", therefore this privilege is a redemptive privilge, purchased by the Atonement. (F.F.Bosworth)

(my thoughts) a previous blog the explanation for "redemption" was shared.  Mankind (which means all born into this world), was sold into the slavery of sin by the intelligent choice of Adam, and the darkened mind of Eve through deception.
     Jesus Christ came to "seek and save that which was lost" Luke 19:10.  Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is referred to as the Good Shepherd, and He preached many sermons on regarding the "lost sheep of Israel".   But John 3:16 gloriously states that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him, will NOT perish but have everlasting life".  This scripture saved me from Mormonism.
     Psalms 23 is a beloved scripture to many of  us.  I remember many years ago while meditating on this psalm that the Holy Spirit "slowed" me down and helped me focus on the "my" of that first verse.  How I gloried in the knowledge that Jesus IS the personal Shepherd to each believer. 
     I remember as a small child going through some very difficult experiences, and wondering "why" didn't God do something to help me out.  Only later in my late twenties did I begin to understand the "free will" that God blessed humanity with, and that He cannot supercede the will of any human being.  People suffer because of wrong choices.  Therefore, their children will suffer due to these same wrong choices.  God wanted the best for me.  It was just very sad that my parents did not know the will of God nor did they dedicate themselves to showing that will to me.
     So, I grew up angry at God for the suffering that was inflicted until I began to "see" through His Word the plan He had for all mankind.  I have never been around sheep, but I have raised chickens, and I can tell you that animals are work.  They will become acquainted with a routine and if you inject anything different into that routine....they scatter. Even if you put a new chicken into an already established brood....the brood will peck that new hen to death just because it upsets the "routine".
   The young man, David, whom the Holy Spirit used to write this beautiful Psalm, lived among the sheep he watched for his father.  He smelled like them, slept with them, protected them, gave his life for them, and they "knew" his sound, his smell, his person.
     Pastor Bob Yandian of Grace Church in Oklahoma once said...." a pastor should "smell" like his sheep".  In other words, they should be so acquainted with their flock that they know when something isn't right or if one is going astray, etc.  This phrase helped my husband, Herb, and I learn to stay close to the people we serve rather than falling into the trap of ministers on one level and people on another.  It hasn't always been easy to live this way and we have been taken advantage of time and again, but this is how Jesus lived.
    But, it was the "my" in Psalms 23 that strengthened my relationship "in" Christ and that has sustained my walk with Him.  He wants to become "personal" with you and I.  He desires that we know He is protecting, caring, supplying, living, and sharing every detail of our lives.  He is the Lord "my" Shepherd, and that intimate knowledge of Him, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, floods my soul with peace, courage, joy, and hope.  I am His and He is mine.
     Do you know Him in this way?  It isn't hard.  Scripture after scripture will assure us of these great and precious truths that will "anchor our souls".  Hebrews declares Him the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  But it also says..."look away from that which distracts you". 
     Hebrews 6 declares Him as the the One Whose blood opened up a fresh, new and living way for us.  Verse 23 then strongly urges us to "seize and hold fast and retain without wavering" Him Who is faithful, reliable and sure.
     Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Jehovah-Ra-ah, is with us!  He feeds, guides, and directs the heart that is yielding to Him, and resting in the pastures He has provided.  You will not lack for any good thing....AMEN!