A KEEPER OF SHEEP
BY KAREN SANKOWSKI
JAN. 19TH. 2014
From the beginning God was demonstrating His plan of salvation; In His desire for His creation, also the cause of sin, the affect of sin, what it would take to resolve sin and the reward for being righteous and being unrighteous. The whole of salvation can be seen here.
All of this is recorded in the first few chapters of Genesis. After God created the heavens and the earth; He said: Let there be light: and there was light.Gen.1:3. He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.Ps.33:9.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. John1:1-4.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying; I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12.
God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. II Cor.4:6.
Man was created as a child of Light! Because he was made in GodÕs image. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him: male and female created He them. Gen.1:27. God also provided man with all they would have need of; and God was with them in the garden.
Sin entered in and because of their disobedience to God they were thrust out of the garden. Sin and its deception caused disobedience and the affect of that sin was separation from God. Death.
The remedy for sin is seen in the record of Abel; and the reward of the righteous and the unrighteous are also demonstrated here as well. Abel was a keeper of sheep. But Cain was a tiller of the ground. Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering. Gen.4:2, 4.
God is showing us through Abel that a sacrifice to Him must be of the highest quality and perfection. We are seeing through Abel: a perfect lamb, an acceptable sacrifice to God, hated without cause, slain.
The shedding of his own blood and that blood speaking; crying to the Lord from the ground; itÕs like the first glimpse of light which tinges the morning sunrise. It doesnÕt reveal everything, but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun is coming. For Abel and all the saints after him it manifests the Son is coming. Praise God!
And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LordÉ. But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.Gen.4:3, 5.
God told Cain: if thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Gen.4:6, 7.
Abel had done well and was innocent. His reward will be that he is in the presence of his God forever. Although it does not state this in this text; IÕm basing it on the operation of God and His promises.
And Cain got his reward as well. God told Cain: now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brotherÕs blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.Gen.4:11, 12.
It seems in verse 14 Cain suddenly realizes his punishment or reward if you will: Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.Gen.4:14.
Cain can now see that his unrighteousness has not only driven him out from the face of the earth but he will be hidden from the face of God. A fugitive and a vagabond:
Constantly on the run; endless wandering with no permanent home; not in the earth and not with God.
This early type and shadow shown to us by God in Abel is speaking of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and the result of man not taking advantage of this flawless provision. The sacrificial Lamb of God-without spot or wrinkle. Hated without cause by the very creatures He came to save. Christ laid down His life for the sheep.
The Great Shepherd of the sheep who offered Himself a sweet smelling savor unto God; by the shedding of His own blood for the remission of sin. Not only ours but the sins of the whole world. God said: AbelÕs blood speaketh. In Hebrews 11:4: By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24.
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil: whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Hebrews 6:17-20.
The precious blood of Christ; is far beyond all preciousness. God saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied. It allows us to come boldly to the throne of grace, accepted in the beloved; because God received Him into glory. To kneel at the altar of our God; knowing it is ChristÕs blood that redeemed us unto Himself.
The blood of Christ speaks with authority, might and power. And the importance of its prevailing cry is not of vengeance but mercy and peace.
Jesus brought the most excellent sacrifice to His Father. A sacrifice so great, so valuable- his own precious blood; to which Jehovah would honor and glorify; in exalting Christ to His own right hand forever.
Abel was a keeper of sheep, the first shepherd in order of time; but Jesus will forever be first in order of Excellence. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep Amen.