"He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep."
The author of Isaiah, in chapter 40, is bringing a word of encouragement & hope to a people oppressed and ragged. The Hebrew people had been scattered in exile and taken to far-off lands (Babylon). But God has not forgotten them. God will raise up a Savior... a Messiah... a Shepherd who will guide the people to safety. The author uses shepherding imagery in verse 11, and the Savior will have 3 clear areas of focus:
- "feed his flock"... We all need the spiritual nourishment that only God can provide. We're great about finding our daily physical food (where shall we eat!?!?)... but often not so good for looking for our daily spiritual food. God can provide!
- "gather his lambs in his arms"... There's a special place in God's heart (and kingdom!) prepared for the children. We all need to make sure our children are cared for & protected. That is God's will for the world!
- "gently lead the mother sheep"... I'm guessing mother sheep are somewhat like mother humans. They both deeply love their children. They make sacrifices for them. This tells me God is about supporting & caring for families (especially moms & other care-givers). And God if God is gentle with them, then so should we be!