We moaned, we groaned; yet, we watched. In the 1970’s viewers tuned in for the Gong Show with host Chuck Barris. It may have paved the way for reality TV. Contestants were gonged when their performances were bad; humiliated, they cringed at the sound of the gong. No cymbal could have such a menacing ring.
“If I could speak the languages of men, of angels too, and have no love, I am only a rattling pan or a clashing cymbal (1Corinthians 13:1 Williams New Testament).” God hears my empty words. I visualize angels hitting a gong and my exiting the scene with my head hung in shame. He is the God of second chances; he also says, “Well done…” (Matthew 25:21)
A blue jean and flannel shirt clad man proudly speaks up. “I’m a farmer; my father was a farmer and his father was a farmer.” Your church pastor emeritus celebrates fifty years of service to congregations and to his Lord; he agrees to say a few words to the crowd. “I’m a simple country preacher; my dad, grandpa and great-grandfather were all preachers.” An occupation or trade often flows through family lines.
Jesus is the Great Shepherd. Caring for sheep went back to ancestors, Abraham, King David, Joseph and his father-Jacob. “This is the history of the descendants of Jacob and this is Jacob’s line. Joseph, when he was seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers (Genesis 37:2a Amplified Bible).” Joseph later made the family occupation clear when his family joined him in Egypt.
“I will go up and tell Pharaoh and say to him, My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been keeping livestock (Genesis 46:31b-32a Amplified Bible).” Yes, Jesus followed in His earthly father’s trade as a carpenter; yet, He has the heart of a shepherd. He continues to gather His sheep and appoints family members to carry on shepherding responsibilities.
Allowing oneself to get the big head of egotistic self-assessment often leads to a sudden awakening. “Me, myself and I” mentality blind us to the omnipotence of God. Through the Book of Daniel, we discover how quickly King Nebuchadnezzar fell from status of national leader to living as an outcast in the midst of wild animals.
“You will be driven away from people to live with the wild animals. You will feed on grass like cattle and be drenched with dew from the sky for seven periods of time, until you acknowledge that the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men, and He gives it to anyone He wants (Daniel 4:25 HCS).”
The prophetic warning came true within a year. (Daniel 4:28-33) Humbled, he worshiped and praised the Most High. “Now, I Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all His works are true and His ways are just. And He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:37 HCS).”