Tuesday April 2 2019

Lost Sheep

“We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.” 

Isaiah 53:6 (EHP)

Sheep are one of the most useful animals on the planet. They grow wool on their coats that makes beautiful warm clothing. When cut, their wool grows again. Their flesh is tender and succulent meat. They can live off sparse vegetation. And their fat can be used in the manufacture of soap. They tend to be meek and inoffensive. Yet they have a streak of stupidity as they wander off into all manner of odd corners and have to be carefully watched. 

Isaiah saw a similarity between their wandering habits and the way we human beings so easily get lost. Sheep like to separate themselves from the flock and shepherds have to be constantly on the watch to stop them going astray. “That’s how we are” says Isaiah. “We seem to be bent on going astray, wandering off from God and his control, finding byways and forbidden highways, however dangerous they may be.” The whole history of the Israelites was a story of sheep that were constantly managing to get lost. And we don’t just get lost as a group. “Each one gets lost on his own, stubbornly refusing to stay with the flock.” It was a beautiful, apposite, and homely description of human sinfulness. 

When Jesus came, he found a ready metaphor for some of his parables, in the ways of sheep. One parable was of the lost sheep. Out of the hundred in the flock one went missing. The shepherd had to risk losing the ninety-nine “safe” ones whilst he went out to find the one wanderer and bring it safely back. 

How much of a “lost sheep” are you?

Cory Asbury has composed a song “Reckless Love” – follow this YouTube clip, and connect with the story behind this song. God’s love for us is deep and ‘chases us down’.