Day 1
December 11

December 11, 2022 • Week Three

“I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:4

Day 1

During biblical times, families in the ancient Near East (which includes modern day Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Iran) relied upon sheep to provide many essentials, including meat, milk, fat, wool, skins, and horns. Sheep were also used as sacrifices in many types of ceremonies required by Old Testament law.

Because sheep were so valuable, shepherds would stay with the flock to protect them day and night. Frequently, the youngest boy in the family served as a shepherd until he grew older and could do harder manual labor. While shepherds were mostly men, girls eight to ten years old often trained to tend sheep as well, with several mentioned in the Old Testament.

Shepherds handled every need of the sheep in their care, ensuring they had pastures to graze in and fresh water to drink, protecting them from predators such as lions and thieves, tending to injured sheep, and searching for lost sheep. A good shepherd sacrificed his comfort, and sometimes even his own life, for the sake of his sheep.

God has a longstanding history of using ordinary shepherds in extraordinary ways. Many biblical figures were shepherds, including Old Testament leaders such as Abraham, Moses, and King David.


  • In the Western world, shepherding today takes on an added meaning of caring for others. Who is someone you could help shepherd through the hills and valleys of life? Ask God to help you identify that person, and make a plan to spend time with them during this season.