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THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL.pdf

THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY DUNCAN MACGREGOR


Ps. Ixxx. 1, 2.

" Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph
like a flock ; thou that dwellest betM'een the cherubim, shine
forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir
up thy strength, and come and save us."
BY DUNCAN MACGREGOR


Ps. Ixxx. 1, 2.

" Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph
like a flock ; thou that dwellest betM'een the cherubim, shine
forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir
up thy strength, and come and save us."

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 04, 2013
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THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAELBY DUNCAN MACGREGOR Ps. Ixxx. 1, 2." Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Josephlike a flock ; thou that dwellest betM'een the cherubim, shineforth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stirup thy strength, and come and save us."This psalm was written in a time of soretrouble. Some of its strains are as plaintive asthe Lamentations of Jeremiah. (Y. 4, 5, 6.)The Church is in tears. She dips her morselin the vinegar. She feels herself under God. She feels as if he were angry againsttlie prayer of his jDeople. And her enemiesenjoy their cruel triumph. That mighty Arm,so often in days past revealed in the splen-dor of its power in her defence, is no longermade bare. Israel is an easy prey to theirenemies. The Yine which God brought outof Egypt and planted in the x>i'oniised land — the noble Yine of the Old Testament Church — the Yine which covered the hills of Canaanwith its shadow, and whose boughs were hkethe goodly cedars — the Yine which in thedays of David and Solomon overspread theland from the Mediterranean to the Euphra-tes, and from Lebanon to the wilderness of Beersheba — ^is plucked, wasted, devoured, burnt.It was in such a cloudy and dark day that theChurch raised this cry to God. Like the dis-ciples in the storm who awoke Jesus, saying,"Master, carest thou not that we perish?"she lifts her voice to him who is a very pre-
 
sent help in trouble. It is told of MartinLuther that he always sang the forty-sixthpsalm in his distresses, and caUed it the war-THE SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL. 11song of the Cliiirch. But it was tlie Cliurcli'swar-song long before Luther. Thhty centu-ries ago she had learned to sing, " The Lordon high is mightier than the noise of manywaters, yea, than the mighty waves of thesea :" '' The Lord is my Kock and my for-tress, and my dehverer ; my God, my strengthin whom I will trust : my buckler and thehorn of my salvation, and my high tower."Let us consider three points :L God's Name — "The Shepherd of Israel,who leadeth Joseph Hke a flock."II. God's JDtvelUng-place — " Between the che-rubim."III. The ChurcJis Frayer—" Shine forth : stirup thy strength, and come and saveus."I. God's Name. The Shepherd of Israel isthe name to which the distressed Church ap-peals. This name to her is an ointment pouredforth, and illustrates better than any other thecare, and love, and tenderness of God. " TheLord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." " Heshall feed his flock hke a Shepherd." In the12 THE SHEPHEKD OF ISRAEL.New Testament the name is applied specifi-cally to Jesus. He applies it to liimseK, " I am
 
the good Shepherd."The words, " that leadest Joseph like a flock,"describe the Shepherd's whole work in guidingJoseph from Egypt to Canaan. There is pe-culiar frilness and breadth in the word "lead-est." There is a density, so to speak, in thelanguage of mspired poetry which it is diffi-cult to exjDress in common words. We almostshrink from analyzing it logically, as weshrink from cutting a rose in two. Theselovely branches of the Tree of Life, ladenwith twelve manner of fruits, and whose veryleaves are for the healing of the nations, re-fuse to be compressed into our more or lessartificial forms. Better to pluck the fruitoff them as they grow in the garden of God!Better to eat the bread than to describe itschemical constituents! One loves to take aword like this as it stands, and drink salva-tion out of it. If we might venture to subdi-vide it, with the view of opening up its treas-ures, we should say that along with the mainTHE SHEPHEKD OF ISRAEL. 13idea of guiding^ it includes the kindred onesof feeding and icatching over.1. The Shepherd of Israel guides Joseph." Thoii leddest thy people like a flock bythe hand of Moses and Aaron." As the cloudypillar went before Israel, and fixed their rest-ing-places, and guided them all through thewilderness — a cooling shade by day and ashining lamp by night — so the Shepherd of Israel guides Joseph like a flock to the end.

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