Thursday, June 4, 2009

For His Name's Sake

Job compared the wicked to sheep who refused to stay on the path.

Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways. They will not stay in its paths (Job 24:13 NLT).

"Palestine is a land of paths. Some of them are winding and lead to green fields and brooks of waters. Others lead to narrow lanes of hedges of thorns and of briers; others to serpent's nests; others to dens of wolves. So the shepherd has to know all these paths and where they lead to; for if he did not know that they led to pleasant places he could not turn the flock back, but his flock would be dispersed and destroyed.

So he leaves his flock resting at noon and goes and finds out where the paths lead to. Often he gets very tired and footsore in going quite a distance and coming back. He has also encountered many dangers, pitfalls, serpents, etc., but 'for His name's sake,' [his reputation as a good shepherd] he will suffer any trouble and weariness as long as his sheep have been saved from the 'paths of unrighteousness.'

With the hireling it is different. He never troubles to find out where the safe and good places are, but takes his chances of leading them through any path that seems easy for himself. But should he come to where the wolves are, 'he leaveth the sheep and fleeth and the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep (John 10:12).' A hireling is never to be depended upon, but the good shepherd suffers all things to secure the comfort of his sheep. Hence the Psalmist so beautifully describes this phrase: 'He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (Psalms 23:3).'" (Mtford 139-140, 142, 146)


  1. Such beautiful connections with the word "paths." The utter truthfulness of the Word of God is shown in the intricate tapestry His Word, His images, His metaphors--all lovingly and perfectly interwoven. Thank you Donna for one more loving example.

  2. SO who do the hirelings symbolize?