Jeremiah 49 … Consider Him, the Uncontested Shepherd

“…For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?” (49:19).

I imagine there were a lot of people ready to argue with Jeremiah, those who were convinced it could never happen. In today’s chapter, God’s Word continues to prophesy against surrounding nations who had persisted in hostility and malice against His people and His purposes.

Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against Edom, and His purposes which He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman…” (49:20).

And as if any could ever challenge Him in a court of law, He reminds them there is none who is able to call Him into question, none who can stand against Him, for no one is like Him.

But His challenge was not directed towards the rulers and kings, but to the shepherds, a match-up measuring the protection and care between shepherds.

“…For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?” (49:19).

Shepherd: “7462. רָעָה rāʿāh: I. A verb meaning to feed, to tend; to be a shepherd. It means in general to care for, to protect, to graze, to feed flocks and herds,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

And none can engage in this face off, for He Is the Uncontested Shepherd.

Uncontested: not having been challenged, called into question, or disputed; not made the object of contention or competition; (in Law) used to describe a decision or result which nobody opposes or disagrees with.

Consider Him, Our Uncontested Shepherd

God had made it abundantly clear, there was no point arguing and every attempted means wielded in hopes of subverting His Will is pointless, for His Word, like Him, is Uncontested.

But oh, hear is heart. His challenge is a call to see Him as the Shepherd, to come in faith and look to Him alone for care and protection; for none can provide, none can care, and none can protect us like Him, the Uncontested Shepherd.

  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; the treasures of man cannot contend with Him.
    • “How boastful you are about the valleys!
      Your valley is flowing away,
      O backsliding daughter
      Who trusts in her treasures, saying,
      ‘Who will come against me?’”
  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; the wisdom of man cannot dispute Him.
    • Concerning Edom.
      Thus says the Lord of hosts,
      “Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman?
      Has good counsel been lost to the prudent?
      Has their wisdom decayed?”
  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; hiding places cannot withstand Him.
    • “But I have stripped Esau bare,
      I have uncovered his hiding places
      So that he will not be able to conceal himself;
      His offspring has been destroyed along with his relatives
      And his neighbors, and he is no more,”
  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; arrogance and self-help cannot challenge Him.
    • “As for the terror of you,
      The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
      O you who live in the clefts of the rock,
      Who occupy the height of the hill.
      Though you make your nest as high as an eagle’s,
      I will bring you down from there,” declares the Lord,
  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; men of war cannot oppose Him.
    • “Therefore, her young men will fall in her streets,
      And all the men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord of hosts,
  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; self-confidence cannot call Him into question.
    • “Arise, go up against a nation which is at ease,
      Which lives securely,” declares the Lord.
      “It has no gates or bars;
      They dwell alone,”
  • He Is the Uncontested Shepherd; the skill and might of man’s finest cannot stand against His care and protection for His sheep.
    • “Thus says the Lord of hosts,
      ‘Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam,
      The finest of their might,’”

His Name is Jesus; He Is the Uncontested Shepherd and there is no other. He cannot be challenged, called into question or disputed as the Good Shepherd, for who would lay down their life for His sheep, but Jesus, the Uncontested Shepherd?

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep,” (John 10:11-15).

How do we respond to Him, Our Uncontested Shepherd?

Jeremiah repeatedly points us to Jesus, as do all the Scriptures, even as Jesus Himself explained to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus after His rose from the dead.

But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures, (Luke 24:21-27).

Knowing what the Scriptures say about Him is essential, but eternal life is given, not in a head full of knowledge, but through a heart surrendered in faith to Jesus.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me,” (John 5:39).

And in the Scriptures, Jesus tells us when He knows us as His own, we will hear His voice and follow Him. And His promise is that we will be given eternal life, never perish, and never be snatched from His hand.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one,” (John 10:27-30).

Self-examination time:

  • Do I believe what the Word says about Jesus?
  • Do I believe that Jesus Is the Uncontested Shepherd Who laid His life down for His sheep?
  • Have I placed my faith in His life laid down for me so that I am known by Him and  hear His voice?
  • Am I following Him, convinced that nothing can contend, dispute, withstand, challenge, oppose, call into question, or stand against Him, the Uncontested Shepherd so as to live with the assurance of my eternal salvation?

I pray you can answer yes to the questions above. But if you are unsure, today you can be sure by acknowledging your sin and need for a Savior; for if you believe and place your faith in Jesus for your salvation, you will be saved.

“…what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-31).

Oh, none can protect or care or provide for us like Jesus, for He alone gives us salvation and eternal life.

Today, let us bow before Him in gratitude and praise for so great a salvation as we turn our attention to the Scriptures to reflect on Him, the Uncontested Shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,
(Psalm 23).

Let’s Grow Together!

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