“I will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. And the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock…’”
I don’t think I’ve ever quite heard it put this way, but the fact keeps resonating the more I read Genesis: shepherds are the kings of the earth. How did I not see it sooner? See, friend, I’ve tended to think of David’s life as the paradigm-shifter toward this gospel theme of the Shepherd-King. I think back to that scene where Samuel comes to coronate one of Jesse’s sons, but David isn’t even in the line-up because he’s off tending sheep somewhere. Or the scene where David defeats Goliath with his shepherd’s sling rather than Saul’s armor. So when angels later hymn the Messiah’s birth to a group of lowly shepherds rather than Pharisees and Roman prefects, I’m not surprised, because I’ve seen David. I’ve read Psalm 23. I’ve gotten to the root of that biblical typology.
Well, so I thought. But thanks to being reintroduced to this patriarchal family in Genesis, I’m encouraged to learn that God’s been raising up shepherds after His own heart from the very beginning.