I try to avoid politics on the ol’ blog because, well, when I think about politics, my thoughts aren’t happy thoughts. I turn on the news and wonder if this presidential election is a big joke. We’ll all wake up and laugh when someone legitimate gets elected and breathe a huge sigh of relief. But, I’m afraid this race is real life and I admit to being afraid sometimes. Recently, I’ve found some peace in the fact that no matter who gets voted president, God reigns. He’s in charge and He’s got this under control.
I was reading in John the other day about “The Good Shepherd”. For this to make sense, I encourage you to read all of John 10. But I loved these verses, especially:
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10: 3-4
I’ve read that before but this time I read the study notes down at the bottom of my Bible. My notes say:
“Unlike Western shepherds, who drive the sheep from the side or behind, often using sheep dogs, Near Eastern shepherds lead their flocks, their voice calling them to move on. This draws a remarkable picture of the master/disciple relationship. NT spiritual leadership is always be example, i.e. a call to imitate conduct”. (MacArthur Study Bible, NASB, copyright 2006 from Thomas Nelson)
That really changed my perspective on what it means to be led by a shepherd and made me consider a few things. I immediately wished for a presidential candidate who understood this leadership principle. To “lead by example” and to “call others to imitate their conduct” (hopefully, conduct that is based on a strong moral compass) rather than trying to round us all up, force us in a certain direction, and bully us with dogs nipping at our heels. Wouldn’t it feel better to be led by a gentle shepherd?
We can’t change the way it is right now. But, we can pray for the leadership of our country everyday. And, we can pray for wisdom in who to cast our ballot for. We can have peace because the Hearer of those prayers is the Good Shepherd Himself. May we know Him well so that we hear His voice and are not led astray.
This Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. No matter what happens with this presidential election, we have a promise of eternal protection and eternal life. The presidential election is a big deal but it isn’t more than God can handle. Our God is the Good Shepherd. May those of us in the fold, seek Him, let Him lead us, and trust Him in a crazy world.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them; and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28