The Shepherd-Leader

Read: Numbers 27:12-23

 . . . that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd. (v. 17 NIV)

I was a first-year Hebrew student. My fellow students and I were in over our heads: trying to master a new alphabet and vocabulary as well as the art of reading right to left. After a demoralizing quiz, several students accused our professor of not doing enough to prepare them. He patiently pointed out the instruction he had provided. Then he reminded us of his appointed role and the respect that went with it.

The wilderness is a time in which the Israelites were in over their heads. They were utterly dependent on their God for protection from illness and enemies, and for provision of food and water. In spite of God’s faithfulness, his people questioned him at every turn. Moses, God’s appointed leader, bore every complaint. As his ministry neared its end, he had a surprising prayer: “Send them another shepherd.”

There are so many times when, without God’s intervention, we would be like sheep without a shepherd. God patiently provides guidance—not only the guidance of his written Word, but the guidance of shepherds. God sends other people to teach us, counsel us, encourage us, and model for us his best way. In our most anxious times, our temptation is to lash out. God in his mercy continues to provide the shepherding we need. Let us receive these shepherds in the grace of the Great Shepherd. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, remember with gratitude those through whom God shepherds you.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.