Those Wonderful Sheepdogs

Psalm 16

A psalm of David.

Keep me safe, O God,
    for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
    Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land
    are my true heroes!
    I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
    I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
    or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
    You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
    What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
    My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

By Chuck Griffin

God is our ultimate protector. When we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, we are protected even as we experience death, carried into eternal life by God’s great plan. The final verses of today’s psalm are a prophecy of that plan, revealing how it culminates in the resurrection of Jesus.

A desire for safety in this earthly life and the idea that godly people can be heroes are two other concepts that come together in this psalm. And as I write this devotion knowing it will be published on Veterans Day, I cannot help but think of those who took time out of their lives to serve the United States of America in a military role to protect us.

I give particular thanks for those who take on such difficult roles while clinging to godliness, the pursuit of what God would have them do.

Sometimes you hear certain people described as having “sheepdog” personalities—friendly, gentle and loyal, but a force to be reckoned with when evil threatens. Many such people are naturally drawn to military service. I love the way the sheepdogs fit into the pastoral image of the Great Shepherd, the one responsible for the flock as a whole.

A good sheepdog becomes an extension of the shepherd’s hand, sensitive to the call of the master and following commands without allowing fear to get in the way. What a comfort sheepdogs should be to the flock!

Think of the sheepdogs around you today and offer them words of affection and thanks. Let them know they are loved and welcomed among us. We need their experiences and attitudes in the midst of our churches.

Lord, pour a special blessing out today on those who have chosen to form that thin line protecting us from disaster. Amen.

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