God–shepherding all of us

For the lesson titled "Everlasting Punishment" from April 23-29, 2012

Quarterly cover
On the hills today in Morocco, Israel, and throughout the region, you can see goats and sheep running about in combined flocks, looking for grasses to eat. They are not quite as abundant as they were in biblical times, but they remind us why the shepherd/flocks/sheep metaphors are so prevalent in the Bible, and especially in this week’s Bible Lesson, titled “Everlasting Punishment.” Biblical “flocks” are often combined flocks of goats and sheep. Goats know where they are going and sheep are happy to follow them, but the shepherd is needed to protect them when animal predators approach. 

When David was a shepherd, he fought off bears and lions (see I Samuel 17:34–37). Later God set up David as a shepherd over the people of Israel (see Ezekiel 34:23, 24, Responsive Reading). These jobs wouldn’t be easy for a human working alone, but it’s God’s responsibility to protect the sheep—His people, including us. 

In this Lesson, we have examples of God’s servants, such as David, Joseph, and Jesus, shepherding the people, as well as of God shepherding all of us (Luke 12:32, Golden Text; Psalms 23:1, cit. 1; Psalms 95:7, cit. 6; etc). God corrects and guides us, but has never inflicted long-term punishment. God is not just protecting us with a sling and a staff, but immortal Mind, ever-present Love, leads us as we let go of sin “until error disappears, and nothing is left which deserves to perish or to be punished” (Science and Health, p. 251, cit. 27).

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Testimony of Healing
Face and shoulder healed after a fall
April 23, 2012

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