One of the most common analogies in the Bible to describe how God relates to his people is how a shepherd relates to his sheep. Jesus described himself as the “good shepherd” who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11). In the case of Jesus, he literally gave his life to pay the sin price for those who come to him. But he also shepherds us on a daily basis by way of the Holy Spirit, who indwells all true believers.
Sacrificial protection is a common trait of a good shepherd. And just as Jesus provides this example in the New Testament, David provides an example in the Old Testament. While David is most famous for slaying Goliath, he was also known to be a shepherd of his father's sheep. When King Saul questioned whether or not David really had the ability to battle Goliath, David responded: “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17:34-26)
While most of us would probably concede the loss of a sheep, when it is drug away by a bear or lion; David would not. He would pursue the wild animal, and attack it in order to get his sheep back. And when the bear or lion then turned on David, he would slay it. He risked his life to save the life of his sheep. Jesus does the same for us.
Are you one of Jesus's sheep? Have you turned from your sin in repentance and trusted in Christ by faith? While David was a good shepherd, none are better than Jesus. Even David once wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1) David's shepherd can be yours as well. Trust in Christ today and know the security and salvation that comes from being one of the sheep of “the good shepherd.”