1 Chronicles 11:2 In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD, your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’
I think one of the things often overlooked in this verse and verses in the New Testament for pastors is the pronoun, "My".
Israel's was the LORD's. He was their Shepherd. David was shepherding God's people. Pastors shepherd the Church of which Jesus said, "My church". The church belongs to Him. Pastors shepherd His church. Pastor Joes' dream.
Ordination is a recognition of Divine Appointment and Anointing. We don't always get it right, unfortunately. Samuel missed it 7 times before he got it right. Most of the time we do. If we could see the heart as God does... The way we should pray...
So shepherding God's people, whether it was David as King, the Son of David, Who is the King of kings or those today who are pastors under Him, it is His people, the flock under His care (Psalm 95) and so the ministry ought to reflect God, the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. Kings and Pastors need to remember this.
Those who are chosen to shepherd have a high calling to serve, to be men of integrity, to be like Christ.
1. David, The Man After God's Own Heart
Humbled by the calling.
Humbled by the task.
Humbled that He chose them.
2 Samuel 7:18-21 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said:“Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in Your sight, Sovereign LORD, You have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign LORD, is this Your usual way of dealing with man?" “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign LORD. For the sake of Your word and according to Your will, You have done this great thing and made it known to Your servant.
Humbled that God works through our imperfections.
David was the family shepherd when God called him. He was trained like Moses the man of God. They were taking care of the family's sheep. Moses, the meekest man on earth.
Both were in the fields watching the family's sheep when they were summoned to lead God's people.
When we look at his story, we soon realize that all of David's life was a preparation for kingship. Beginning as a shepherd was certainly appropriate training for one who would one day shepherd the flock of God.
David learned how to be a king (the shepherd of God's flock) in the fields of Bethlehem.
He learned how not to be a king in the palace working under Saul. He got to see a man who once was anointed by God operate without that anointing while still in the position.
On several occasions, David barely escaped with his life as jealous Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear. Only those who know danger can learn to trust God for protection in danger. Later, David spent years in the wilderness running for his life from Saul. He learned more valuable lessons about trusting God and the corrupting influence that power can possess. All these things "worked together for good" to prepare David to fulfill his divine destiny.
In God's sovereign plan, David suffered significantly during those years, and the majority of his sufferings were entirely unjust. David didn't deserve the relentless, unkind treatment he received from Saul, whom he had served so well. But did God have a purpose in permitting it? It must be that David was being prepared. Once we've suffered under corrupt leaders, we're more apt to be incorruptible when God promotes us to a place of leadership.
I think next to shepherding the family flock in Bethlehem, the thing that made David the man he was to become, Israel's most beloved king, was the decade of nightmarish hell he went through as Saul hunted him down. It changed David. He suffered. He learned invaluable lessons during that 10 year period. If you are trying to understand the purpose of suffering in your life I would heartily recommend the book by Gene Edwards, A Tale Of Three Kings. It is a study in brokenness in the life of David and can be read in a few hours. It is book I have read over and over again.
The man who wrote, "The LORD is my Shepherd."
Of whom it was said:
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David His servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep He brought himto be the shepherd of His people Jacob, of Israel His inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
May God give leaders today who would shepherd His Church with integrity of heart! LORD, give us men who have a pastor's heart.
2. Jesus, That Great Shepherd of the Sheep
The Good Shepherd John 10
Have Life to the Full
He lays Himself down for us
He knows us by name
That Great Shepherd Hebrews 13.20-21
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The only title (minister, priest, preacher, clergy) that Jesus ascribed to Himself.
He saw the people like sheep without a shepherd and had compassion on them.
He came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
He told Peter to feed His sheep, take care of His lambs.
He is at work today as our Shepherd.
3. The Ministry
I Peter 5
1 Peter 5:2-3 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Be shepherds, not CEO's, not Executives, not Dictators
Shepherds are unique people.
The ones I met in Israel and Haiti were very committed to their work. They cannot focus in distractions.
It is all about their relationship to the sheep.
Pastors and Kings all bout their relationship to God and the sheep.
The Chief Shepherd will appear
1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.