And he blessed Joseph, and said:
“God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,
Genesis 48:15 NKJV
When I was in grade school I had a favorite teacher. That would be my first-grade teacher Mrs. Sullivan! Her class was fantastic and I loved it, which is saying a lot from someone who doesn’t enjoy school. I wished I could have had her for all of my classes. I think. universally, we all had or have that one teacher in our lives. The one or ones we talk about forever. In retrospect, I have three favorite teachers. Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Kranz (Ms. Pasel back then), and Mr. Cripe. These three teachers helped mold me and guide me through life. We want a teacher who is everlasting and whose lessons are timeless. They became close friends and people who I confided in. But after High School and moving to multiple different states through the years we lost touch. I had to wonder, is there any relationship that can last a lifetime?
Jacob, the patriarch, found out there is one. After living through many dramatic changes and losing loved ones along the way, he realized there had been a constant presence in his life. He found that no matter what and in all things, there was a friend to be found that never left.
Jacob had been a shepherd, so he compared his relationship with God as that of a shepherd and his sheep. Something that we all do every day. We draw comparisons that from our personal lives that are profound and that others can glean knowledge from.Christ did it in his lessons or parables. They make things relatable and easier to understand. But Jacobs for us now a days might take some explanation.
From the time a sheep is born through its growth to old age, the shepherd cares for it day and night. He guides it during the day and protects it during the night. David, also a shepherd, had the same conviction, but he highlighted the eternal part of it when he said, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).
Changing teachers is a part of life. But how good it is to know that we can have a relationship for life. The Shepherd has promised to be with us every day of our earthly existence (Matt. 28:20). And when life here ends, we will be closer to Him than ever. Brought back into the fold as God had intended everything to be.