The imagery brought out of the Bible regarding shepherds has always fascinated me. Growing up in a small town and then in the suburbs did not allow much time for me to experience farm life or pasturing of animals. I grew up with various cats and not long after I got married, my wife and bought two pug puppies that were our children for almost three years. What a shock to their system to find that they had been demoted when our son came home in the car seat! They were demoted to beloved pets.
During my life, I have always had a deep sense of nurturing and protecting things more vulnerable than I. I had my moments in adolesence when I would test out my newly found masculinity on someone who wasn't going to hit back too hard. The recipient of most of this testing was my younger brother I am sad to say. But overall, the vulnerability of younger, smaller or weaker things has elicited from me a sense of protectiveness. When we all make the mistake of watching the mainstream news networks, we see a panorama or our world from the aspect of emotional exploitation. Images of children or vulnerable people splash onto our television screens and shock us into a hyper sense of emotion. While empathy for the victims of whatever atrocity is being shouted at us is certainly needed and deserved, emotional exploitation of reality is what our media has degraded into.
Recently, I watched a documentary on Psychopaths. I have no desire to immerse myself into the world of the macabre, but this program was very eye-opening. One thing that was said (and take science's conclusions for what they are) was that psychopaths were born and not made. I find this interesting because people without any connection to their emotions are born and not a product of abuse, neglect or any other factor. They simply are psychopaths. Why do I bring this up? What this evidence proves is that there are people out there with absolutely no empathy or regard for the protection of others. From a biblical standpoint, they are wolves. There is no caring, empathy, sympathy.......only the hunger for their own satisfaction.
The connection between the news and individuals such as these creatures is that one fuels the other and so easily, the media panics the "flock." As a father of three small children, individuals in the world who are programmed this way scare me to death. The thought that my beloved children share air with these monsters (and yes I am judging them, I know) is a thought that makes my blood surge in both panic and in a protective posture.
Fatherhood is something that is being slaughtered in this country. So many children now are being brought up in a home with no father-figure at all. We see on the nightly news innocent lambs, not necessarily slaughtered, but converted into wolves themselves. As a father, I have two duties as far as my children are concerned; providing and protecting. The context in which I do these two acts is love. Many disconnected fathers are very good at one or the other of these. They either provide without protecting which allows their children to use their provision to their own destruction i.e. drugs, underage drinking, vehicle accidents, etc. Or they attempt to protect without providing and the child becomes dependent on friends to fill the void of relationship left by a father's withholding of emotion to the child.
As the shepherd of my household, I ensure my children are fed and clothed and realize what a gift each day is. In another aspect of being a shepherd, I watch the "wood-line" of the world for those who wish to destroy or manipulate. As a father, I stand with a sling, club and staff and watch for harm that would befall those whom I am have been given to protect and nurture. Nothing demonstrates to me more that wolves have infiltrated the highest levels of government than the concept of disarming the public and leaving them vulnerable to the wolves.
Fathers have been given precious commodities by our heavenly Father to care for and the chief tactic of the enemy is make us focus on ourselves and not the wood-line. One thing our generation has been made to focus on is one's self and nobody else and in so doing, we see children being abandoned and left on their own to fight off the wolves.
"Greedy dogs, never satisfied — such are the shepherds, unable to understand; they all turn to their own way,
each one intent on his own gain:" Isaiah 56:11 CJB
"Here comes YHVH Elohim with power, and his arm will rule for him. Look! His reward is with him,
and his recompense is before him. He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering his lambs with his arm, carrying them against his chest, gently leading the mother sheep.” Isaiah 40: 10-11 CJB
There is nothing more godly or manly than compassion and love for those put in your charge. Be Like YHVH Elohim and hold your babies to your chest and lead your mother sheep in grace and shalom.
Cole Davis and Other Contributors