Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Knowing Your Flock (Proverbs 27:23; Isaiah 40)

"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks …" (Prov. 27:23).

During the past couple of weeks, we have gathered some pearls of wisdom from the book of Proverbs concerning young people. We examined some of Solomon’s advice about sins that most likely beset young people. While it is profitable to identify temptations that commonly plague the young (but not the young exclusively), this knowledge must not be separated from the environment in which it should be cultivated. The home is the God-ordained arena for instructing children and young people. Parents are accountable to God to train their children in matters pertaining to every area of life. While others outside the home can certainly assist, the final responsibility for the education of children rests upon the parents.

Proverbs 27:23 says, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.” Solomon wrote this to his son, who would rule over a nation one day. His exhortation was that a good king knows the condition of his people, their needs, their concerns, and their weaknesses. The same is true of a minister. To be a good shepherd over the flock God has entrusted to him and his fellow elders, he must know its condition and be intimately involved in the lives of its members. Likewise, parents—and a father especially, as ruler in the home—must know the condition of the family. He must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of his wife and his children.

Parents need to work together to train their children according to the truths God has given in His Word. They need to know each of their children individually. Not all children are the same—they possess different needs and diverse interests. You might have one child who thrives on physical contact—a hug is all they need for encouragement and reassurance. Another child might be indifferent to physical contact and, instead, desire your time, working on a project or playing a game. Still another might simply need you to listen.

Effective parents who can communicate the wisdom contained in Scripture are good shepherds—shepherds who take the time necessary to know their flocks, learn what is best for them, and care for them as Christ cares for His church.

Read Isaiah 40 and list the shepherding and guiding language used to describe Christ. How has God been a faithful shepherd and good father to you? Think of things in your life that evidence God’s intimate knowledge of your needs. God deals with each one of us differently. Thank Him today for His fatherly love.