The Bible is full of powerful messages about how to listen to the shepherd in us. The word "sheep" refers not only to people with sheep's clothing but also to the entire flock of mankind, as the Bible says, who through the Shepherd's voice are guided and protected by the Lord. In fact, the Shepherd's voice is the very voice of God, according to the Bible. This makes it clear that listening to God's voice is what we should be doing, all the time.
How to listen to the shepherd starts by being familiar with the shepherds we know. These shepherds are people with whom we have a strong and trusting relationship. If we start out by being familiar with our neighbors, family members, friends, and co-workers, we are already halfway there. We can add "the people of the Lord" to this list anytime we want.
Next, we must learn to recognize the distinctive sounds of the sheep. In every shepherd's tent, there will be a distinct sound that represents the tent's location, such as the snowsplash, the flutter, or the rumble. If we are in the home of a friend or co-worker, the same is true. We can even hear these sounds when we are out in nature, for instance when birds are tweeting, or cars are blaring, or bees are buzzing.
In addition, we can begin by paying attention to the sheep's behavior. As sheep shear, the flock moves quietly, in deep, low circles. When they were in a circle, they form a flock, which looks larger than life. When a sheep herd in a straight line, the flock looks tighter. When a sheep herd in a curved line, the flock appears thinner.
How to meditate on the Bible, then, requires us to pay attention to the movements of our shepherd. Sometimes, it can seem as if the shepherd is leading the flock. At other times, it can seem as if the shepherd is leading the flock by example. One of the great stories from the Bible, about the woman who was caught by the angel and given twelve rams, illustrates this point nicely. In this episode, the woman, Job, was a highly prized sheep among the Israelites.
How to meditate on the Bible, then, requires that we seek to emulate the example of the great sheep of God. When we are living in sincere prayer and desire to walk with God, we need to seek to see things from his perspective. Not only can we learn about how he thinks, but we can also learn about how our shepherds think.
As I mentioned above, one of the key messages that the New Testament gospels bring is that the shepherd is, in fact, our very personal lamb. The Bible shows us that when Jesus comes back from the dead, he'll return to earth as the lamb of God. This, of course, will bring with him all the love of the world. People will be united with each other because they will see the glory of the Lamb of God. As the stone rolled up to cover the coffin, Jesus said that he was not concerned for the death of the sheep, for he had just come to seek out his lost sheep.
This teaches us how to meditate the bible not by trying to imitate hermits but by learning to embrace our shepherd's ways. We need to look at the lives of our beloved Jesus and recognize that they were loved and cared for. They did not die in order to gain popularity or status or become fashionable. Instead, they lived their lives displaying acts of selflessness, loving acts, and putting into practice what they heard from their Father.