There is SAFETY and SECURITY for GOD’s PEOPLE
June 18 Bible Reading: Psalms Chapters 78-81
"But He made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; and He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to His holy border, this mountain which His right hand had acquired." (Psalms 78:52-54)
While describing the kindness displayed by God towards the rebellious Israel, Asaph pauses to explain the active role that God played in the lives of His people as they trekked through the wilderness en route to the Promised Land. According to His promise, God played the role of a shepherd who knew what was best for His sheep.
The above passage emphasizes the fact that God made his people travel like a flock of sheep through the perilous desert as He guided them like a shepherd. God planned the exact route that His people should travel as He took many factors into consideration. "Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea" (Exodus 13:17-18).
The wonderful thing to note about allowing God to guide and navigate His people is that He led His people through His safety net and security as they traveled as a flock of sheep through the rough desert terrain. It is possible that God has made a hedge of protective wall around His people (see Job 1:9), and had given His angels charge over them to keep them protected in all their ways so that they would not dash their feet even against a stone (Psalms 91:11-12). As a part of God’s protection of His people, He destroyed the mighty army of Egypt including Pharaoh with the waters of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:26-28). Thereafter, God led them to Mount Horeb where He gave them specific laws for everyday life (Exodus 19:1-2). At the end of their journey, God led them to the borders of Israel (Joshua 1:1-4), the Promised Land that He has promised to their forefather Abraham many years ago (Gen. 12:1-3).
As part of God’s flock, we are protected by God and one another! The biblical image of God as our shepherd, and Jesus as our Good Shepherd (John 10:1-30) reminds us how much we need to guidance and protection of our heavenly Father, and one another in the community of faith. Just like God guided the Israelites by the hand of Moses and Aaron (Psalms 77:20), He has placed people in spiritual leadership over us (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) to guide us until we reach the end of our life’s journey (Eph. 4:11-16).
Let us be fully assured that as part of God’s flock, we are under God’s guiding protective hand while being surrounded by other believers as a shield. There is safety and accountability for us being part of His flock - the community of faith. With Christ as our Good Shepherd, and believers around us, we have safety and security throughout our life journey!