The Samburu people of East Africa understand what “good shepherd” means. As pastoralists, they build their lives around their animals and move their villages when their sheep, goats or cattle need fresh pasture. They construct their houses of thin poles woven together; then they drape animal skins, fabric or plastic sheeting on top. The small shelters can easily be collapsed and transported.
In very close proximity to their homes — sometimes even attached to a thin outer wall — thorny acacia branches tangle together to form pens for the livestock. Without the thorny hedge, tender lambs would easily be sacrificed to satisfy an enemy’s hunger. But a predator attempting to penetrate that barrier would soon regret it.
Samburu people will immediately understand God’s love, protection and provision when they read, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need” (Psalm 23:1, NLT). But they may be surprised by, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
The Good Shepherd is also one of the flock! He is the Lamb of God, not just caring for the sheep but completely identifying with His helpless, vulnerable creatures in actually becoming one. That’s how much He craves relationship with us. And He took the enemy’s wrath to save the rest of the flock.
The Lord is my Shepherd, and He is my sacrificial Lamb. I have everything that I need.
Here’s more about The Seed Company’s work with the Samburu people.
Jenny Evans is a writer for The Seed Company.