“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.”
God was angry with the careless and self-seeking attitude of the leaders of His people – the shepherds of Israel. He determined to ‘remove them from tending the flock’ and to take over the responsibility and pastoral care Himself. We find this beautifully and explicitly expressed by the Lord Jesus.
• “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
• “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
• “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4)
Every believer is a believer because they have been sought out and called by the Lord. Having brought us into His eternal flock He continues to watch over us. When we stray, get lost or wounded He continues to seek us out to renew the reality of our relationship. Very often, however, we are facing in the wrong direction, pursuing our own goals or staring at the problems and dangers confronting us. We need to turn around and face the Lord again.
I once watched a shepherd rescue a sheep that had strayed away from the flock and across the road. The sheep was facing away from the flock, was unaware of the shepherd behind him and uncertain what to do. The shepherd walked up next to him and, taking him by the ear, led him back to where he belonged.
There may well be times when we are so preoccupied with ourselves and our fears that, not being open to the Lord, He might need to take us by the ear! It would be easier and more comfortable to turn back to Him in trust for His guidance and love before that. He is always there.
Be aware of the Lord with you throughout the day. Ensure that you are reading His Word both for guidance and for what it reveals to you of Him.
Lord Jesus help me to stay close to You, focussed on You and seeking Your guidance and will in every situation. Amen.