Thursday, January 31, 2019

All we like sheep have gone astray...

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    God's people are compared to sheep quite often in the Scriptures. 

    Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. -Psalms 100:3

    I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. -Psalms 119:176

    Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. -Matthew 10:16

    All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. -Isaiah 53:6

    The Lord Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."  - John 10:11

      Follow the leader

      Sheep have a strong instinct to follow the sheep in front of them. When one sheep decides to go somewhere, the rest of the flock usually follows, even if it is not a good "decision." For example, sheep will follow each other to slaughter. If one sheep jumps over a cliff, the others are likely to follow. Even from birth, lambs are conditioned to follow the older members of the flock. This instinct is "hard-wired" into sheep. It's not something they "think" about. 

      We rather have that tendency to follow others too, don't we? God warns us about it. 

      Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: - Exodus 23:2

      Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. -3 John 1:11

    Sheep are lowly creatures. Yet think of how our Almighty Lord has humbled Himself in being called the "Lamb of God". We are to be like our Lord in all lowliness and meekness. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." -Matthew 11:29

    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. -Isaiah 53:7

    But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; - Philippians 2:7-10

    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, 
    and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh 
    away the sin of the world. -John 1:29

    Monday, January 28, 2019

    I shall not want

    A friend of mine shared a sermon recording from her pastor with me recently, that spoke on this chapter. It dwelt on what a wonderful thought it is, that those who are the Lord's children have HIM as their Shepherd through this life. If He is truly our Shepherd, we shall not want (i.e., lack). "The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing." -Psalms 34:10  "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." -Psalm 84:11 

    Are we truly seeking the LORD, and walking uprightly? "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD." -Lam. 3:40  "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." -Psalm 139:23

    ~Psalm 23~

    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want

    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 

    He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

     Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

      The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; 
    therefore will I hope in Him.
     -Lamentations 3:24

    If the LORD Himself is truly your portion, what more can you need?