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I. Shepherds regularly lead their flocks through valleys.
A. The valley was often the easiest way to get the sheep to the best pastures.
1. During the winter and spring months the sheep were usually kept in a pen in the areas of lower elevations.
2. As summer came the shepherd would then begin to move their sheep to the higher elevations where the winter snows and spring rains have brought to life rich green pastures.
3. Leading the sheep during the summer would be hot and grueling as the sheep move along quite slowly.
4. The Shepherd would lead his sheep through the valleys because they had the best paths and the gentlest grades.
5. The valleys also provided the best supply of food and water along the journey.
6. Leading the sheep through the valleys would allow the shepherd the least difficult way to reach the higher elevations.
B. The valleys were often very dangerous but they were still usually the best route.
1. The valleys may have made the travel the easiest for the shepherd and their sheep but it also presented some very dangerous challenges.
2. The valleys often had many cliffs and crags that afforded predators the opportunity to hide and watch for an opportune time to attack the flock.
3. The valley would also offer adequate hiding places for robbers.
4. The most dangerous threat to the sheep traveling through the valleys was the natural disasters.
a. Rock and mud slides.
b. Unexpected storms of wind, rain, sleet and snow.
c. Devastating flash floods that could occur without warning.
C. Our Shepherd will only lead us down the best path that will get us to where He wants us to go.
1. Like the ancient shepherd God knows exactly the right path to lead His sheep down.
2. God will always be able to provide care for His sheep even during the most adverse circumstances.
3. Like with the sheep for us to reach the higher ground we must travel through the valleys.
4. However, God does not leave us in the valley, He gently leads us through the valleys and on toward the higher ground.
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