Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:15-17)
Realizing the dangers of having the wrong type of leader for the people, Moses requests that the LORD would raise up a man with a shepherd’s heart to lead them. Moses fears that without such a man, the people of God would be “like sheep that have no shepherd.” In such a condition, they would be exposed to attack from all sides and be threatened with annihilation. God knew this, of course, but it does allow us to peer into the heart and mind of Moses — a true shepherd.
When you stop and think about it, many of the prominent leaders God raised up in Israel’s history knew a lot about sheep, many of them being shepherds. Of course, there is Moses, who God called while he was looking for lost sheep in the region around Mount Sinai. Then there is David: a man called in from watching the flock in order to be anointed as king over Israel, obviously to shepherd them as much as rule them. We know that Messiah is the Good Shepherd, meaning that He is willing to leave the 99 in the wilderness in order to find and restore that one lost sheep.
If the Messiah is regarded as a shepherd, then might we determine that, more than charisma and physical strength, God looks for men and women who will care for His people just as a shepherd would look carefully over his flock. To underscore the point, just look at what God has to say about those shepherds who do not care for their sheep (Ezekiel 34). And so the point is, today, even though you may not pastor a congregation, in some way we all have someone who looks to us for care, guidance and protection. Let us make sure that we follow the example of the Good Shepherd and do all we can to exhibit the goodness of our God to those He has entrusted to us.
Blessings and Shalom,