God is the Good Shepherd of the Just

December 25, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 136
By Venerable Louis of Granada

It is in illustration of this same providence that God assumes the title of Shepherd.

“I am the Good Shepherd,” He tells us; “and I know Mine, and Mine know Me.” [St. John x. 14.]

How dost Thou know them, O Lord? “As the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father.” [Verse 15.]

Oh! blessed care! Oh! sovereign providence! What happiness is comparable to this?

Hear the prophet Ezechiel, speaking in the person of God, and beautifully describing His loving watchfulness over us:

Behold I Myself will seek My sheep, and will visit them. As the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered, so will I visit My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the countries, and will bring them to their own land; and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land.

I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel. There shall they rest on the green grass, and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed My sheep; and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

I will seek that which was lost, and that which was driven away I will bring again; and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve; and I will feed them in judgment [Ezech. xxxiv. 11-17.]

—That is, with great care and tenderness.

The prophet continues:

I will make a covenant of peace with them, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they that dwell in the wilderness shall sleep secure in the forests. And I will make them a blessing round about my hill; and I will send down the rain in its season. There shall be showers of blessing. [Verses 25, 26.]

In what stronger terms could God express the tenderness of His love? It is needless to say that the flock mentioned represents the just, and the fat lands and pastures the spiritual riches and treasures with which God surrounds them.

The Holy Spirit makes use of the same touching figure again in the Twenty-second Psalm, where the different offices of a shepherd are portrayed.

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