Summary: We long to be sheltered, secure, & satisfied The Shepherd At Work: 1. Looking For The Best Grazing & Bedding Land 2. Removal of Poisonous Plants, Snakes, Scorpions 3. Clean the Drinking Holes

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Ps 23:5

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

- Sheep are completely defenseless.

They can't bite like dogs, scratch like cats, kick like horses or even snap like turtles.

- Yet have many enemies

• Cougars will track sheep for days, returning to kill each day. Sometimes they will drag a dead sheep for miles to their lair.

• A coyote will go to the weak side of a flock, grab a ewe or lamb by the throat and carry it away at speeds of up to forty miles per hour.

• Pet dogs, even small poodles, can be as deadly as a mountain lions.

• Foxes will attack a newborn lamb and can stampede a flock.

• Eagles will steal a small lamb.

• Crows will pluck out sheep eyes.

• Thorns can cause lameness.

• Locoweed can cause blindness, paralysis, and death.

• Aphids and butterflies can suck all the nurture out of the sheep's food.

• Grapes can cause drunkenness.

• A blowfly can lay eggs in an open wound that can lead to severe infection.

• Sharp rocks can puncture sheep's paws.

• A drought can make grazing fields impossible to find

• Approaching storms can create anxiety which causes them to overeat.

• Rain can cause them to stop eating

• Locusts can strip the fields of forage in a matter of minutes.

• Rams can head-butt one another to death during breeding time.

• A small percentage of ewes in each flock will have a kidnapper instinct and will rob unsuspecting mothers of their newborn.

- Sheep are defenseless against these enemies.

- We have our enemies, too.

- Enemies that are intent upon our destruction.

- Some prey on us from without

- Some from within.

- It is impossible to be free of them.

• They surround us.

• They hover over us.

• They slither beneath us.

• They live within us.

1 Jn 2:16

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1. The WORLD—Built upon greed

- It’s always with us,

- Reminding us that what we have is never quite enough

2. THE FLESH—Our lusting appetite inherited at birth

- Never completely controlled until stripped away at death.

3. THE DEVIL—This enemy is out to destroy us

1 Pe 5:8

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

p. 67-68 “The Way of the Shepherd” Don Baker 1987

- Sheep don’t need much

- Food, Water, Protection & Rest

- v.2 - Green Pastures & Still Waters meet the daily needs

- v.5 - Prepared table is a banquet, a feast

- Table speaks of where loved ones gather

- It is a prepared place

- Setting in order, Arrangement

- Anointing head with oil Perpetual Care

- Overflowing cup unlimited blessing

So 2:4

4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

- We long to be sheltered, secure, & satisfied

The Shepherd At Work

1. Looking For The Best Grazing & Bedding Land

- Protection from the weather

- Safe from drop offs and holes

- Setting out salt and minerals

- Free from predators

Ps 27:5

5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Ps 61:2-4

2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

2. Removal of Poisonous Plants, Snakes, Scorpions

- Looking across field appears good but hidden dangers & killers

- Dangers of a popular attractive media pastor

- Cults try to meet human/emotional needs

2 Co 11:13-15

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

3. Clean the Drinking Holes

- Scummy stagnant water holes

- These bred parasites

- Contamination is not realized until it is in the body

- Worlds water holes look inviting

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