Feed your people with your rod, the flock of your heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the middle of Carmel…
This prayer recognises three things.
I. AN INTERESTING RELATION BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE. Flock and Shepherd.
1. He is the absolute Owner of the flock. "All souls are Mine."
2. He has a perfect knowledge of the flock.
3. He has an infinite love for the flock.
4. He has abundant supplies for the flock.
II. THE TRYING CONDITION IN WHICH GOD'S PEOPLE ARE SOMETIMES FOUND. "Which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel." The primary reference is to their captivity in Babylon.
1. It is caused by self. Souls have not been driven away into moral captivity. "All we like sheep have gone astray."
2. It is undeliverable by self. No soul ever found its way back to God by its own unaided efforts; hence Christ came to "seek and to save the lost."
III. THE IMPORTANCE OF RESTORATION TO FORMER ENJOYMENTS. "Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old." The regions of Bashan and Gilead, on the east of the Jordan, were celebrated for their rich pasturage, and on this account were chosen by the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 12; Deuteronomy 3:17). Morally, the great need of man is the restoration of normal rights, normal virtues, normal enjoyments.
Parallel VersesKJV: Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
WEB: Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your heritage, who dwell by themselves in a forest, in the midst of fertile pasture land, let them feed; in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.