Do You Fear Abuse from God?

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me (allows and enables ) to lie down in green pastures and leads me by quiet waters (from Psalm 23:1-2).

flock of sheepYou’ve probably heard Psalm 23 more times than you can count. It’s a beautiful picture of peace and protection.

This Psalm explains the shepherd-sheep relationship from the sheep’s perspective.

All we like sheep have gone astray, and each has turned to his own way (from Isaiah 53:6). Could this be an illustration of . . . us?

You see, domestic sheep are not all that bright. Not particularly brave. Certainly not coordinated. And they don’t have much in the way of defensive weapons.

Did you know that if a sheep falls into a narrow ditch on his back, he can’t get out? He doesn’t twin lambshave the flexibility or strength to extricate himself—and it doesn’t matter if he fell in because of his own actions, or if another sheep pushed him (poetic license, here!). He’s stuck and has to wait for the shepherd to help. And if the ditch fills with water, that poor sheep has had it. His fleece will weigh him down with all the water clinging to it.

Kind of like us. Our fear, pain, and sin cling to us, making us vulnerable to the waves of adversity and attack.

“Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me” (verse 4). How could a rod be comforting? Shepherds do not beat the sheep they take care of. The rod, a long straight stick, is used to tap the sheep to show them the way to go. It’s used like a horse’s reins. It’s for guidance, not punishment.
The staff is the thing that looks like a cane. The hook on the end is used to pull sheep from precarious positions, like the poor creature in the ditch.

The shepherd’s equipment is intended to protect the sheep from getting lost, from predators, from their own bible

And that’s how God trains us, His sheep. Though the comparison may not seem flattering, Scripture says that we are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 95:7). God directs us and guides us. He shows us the way we should go and keeps us safe in it.

God is not an abuser.


This is part 23 of a series on abuse recovery

Part 1| Am I Alone in my Pain?

Part 2| Do You Have Hope?

Part 3| Putting Your Hope in God is Safe

Part 4| How Do We Lose Our Hope?

Part 5| Growing up Without Hope

Part 6| Scripture Promises Can Stimulate Hope

Part 7| Hope Can be Found in Journaling

Part 8|Every Journey Begins with This

Part 9| Why Do We Quit Too Soon?

Part 10| Don’t Let These Stop You!

Part 11| Learning Too Much Can Stop Your Progress

Part 12| Is Fear of Change Hindering Your Healing?

Part 13| Are You Afraid You Don’t Deserve Healing?

Part 14| What if God Doesn’t Want Me to Be Healed?

Part 15| What if I Can’t Fight Long Enough for My Healing?

Part 16| Are You Living with Shame from Your Past?

Part 17| Do You Feel Like You Hate Your Own Soul?

Part 18| Shame

Part 19| Getting Rid of Shame

Part 20| God Has Good Plans for You

Part 21|Healing is Simple But Not Easy

Part 22| Is God Mad at Me?

all illustrations courtesy of