Our Lord has declared in His Word that He will be our Shepherd. He also spent lots of time with fishermen around the Sea of Galilee during His earthly ministry. And in the Old Testament He uses instruments and implements used by both of these professions in teaching us about His method of getting us where He wants us and where we will be most useful and effective to His glory.
We all know and love the beautiful picture of our Lord as our loving and gracious shepherd Who leads us, guides us, feeds us and protects us. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…” David declares. And how blessed and secure and fruitful we are when He leads us in plentiful green pastures and beside still waters.
Our Lord sometimes has to use hooks to get us where He wants us to be and/or to drag us away from what will harm us and dishonor Him. Isaiah declared to Sennacherib that He “…put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth,” when He dragged him away to protect His people.
I still find that our Lord still has and uses those same instruments to ‘lead’ His people – me. And I have rejoiced when He gently shepherded me, when He led me with His CROOK, when He kept me back from deliberately leaving the fold or ignorantly wandered off from the flock. I look back and rejoice in the remembrance of those times. And I look forward to following this “Gentle Shepherd” as the old hymn reminded us.
But I painfully and shamefully remember those times when He had to put His hook in my jaw and in my nose to drag me out of a pit I had dug for myself. Or when He had to drag me out of my “comfort zone” to get me into the place that He could most effectively use me.
I bet you have had those times in your life as well. When it is pleasant and even when it is painful, I thank God for being that kind of Lord and Master! Of course, I much prefer that He is able to lead me with his CROOK and not have to put His HOOK in my nose. I suppose it is up to me, which it will be. God help me to make the right choices and get CROOK the instead of the HOOK.