‘My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.’ Jeremiah 50: 6 (NIV)
When God created man, He became their shepherd, and they His sheep. We are a part of God’s flock. Like real sheep, we sometimes follow blindly; we sometimes don’t follow at all, wandering off on our own. And just like the sheep who wander into a pack of wolves, we find ourselves in danger, about to be devoured by those who would bring us harm.
The Lord our God does not want this for us. He wants us safe under His watchful eye, His guiding ways. But in sheep-like stubbornness, we want to choose our own path. What we forget, when we think we know what is best for us, is that the enemy is waiting along that path, planning to attack and destroy the lives of the sheep. He will use any method he can devise to waylay us on our journey. He will even use those close to us to lead us astray. What looks like something good and pleasing to our eyes, often is a ruse to put us where he can mislead us. Worse, we become separated from our safety, our peace, our Shepherd.
However, the Shepherd will hunt down even that one lost sheep. Luke 15:4-7 shows us the value Jesus put on the one sheep out of the one hundred, when one, just one, has wandered away. Jesus describes the joy when it is found, when He can return it to the flock. He makes the point that it is a cause for celebration, likening that one sheep to a sinner who has repented, and how Heaven rejoices for that one.
When Jesus came to this earth, He became our Savior. He is the Good Shepherd, the one who watches and rescues the sheep that are lost. Those sheep include you and I. He does not forsake us to stay with the ones who are already found. He follows us, and waits, until He can pick us up and carry us home again. He rejoices, as do His angels, whenever a lost sheep is found.
When we find ourselves wandering and feeling lost and alone, we are still under the guidance and protection of God. He is always with us and He knows our voices. We, as sheep, often forget His. We get caught up in the ways and troubles of this world we live in, and then we find we cannot pull ourselves out of our predicaments. But the Good Shepherd will call us, and will retrieve us, and He will bring us home. He is Our Hope.
‘My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.’ John 10: 27-28 (NIV)