Sunday, December 1, 2019
Thoughts from the Past - Where the Sheep Are
A post from the past. Edited.
Last week (Feb. 2013) I posted a couple of poems about the Good Shepherd. This week I wanted to share a thought about the sheep.
John 10:14 says, I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. And, John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
So, if the sheep know the good shepherd and follow Him, we can know them by where they are. Where is that? Psalm 23 tells us.
Psalm 23:1-6 A Psalm of David. 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.
v. 2 – In green pastures and beside still waters. They will be where they can get good, appropriate spiritual food and the living waters that Jesus Christ gives.
v. 3 – In paths of righteousness. They will not be walking in the ways of sin as a steady habit (1 Jn. 2:1). The Good Shepherd will call them away from sin unto Himself.
v. 4 – In the valley of the shadow of death. Not all the places will be “good” places in the sense of being places of ease and pleasure. But, they will be with the Lord in those places and will find comfort from Him and from the protection that He gives them.
v. 5 – In the presence of their enemies. Again, not all the places are what some would call “good”. Yet, even when forced into the presence of enemies (and a good sheep will have enemies!), they will find the things they need to sustain them provided for them by their Shepherd.
v. 6 – In the house of the Lord for ever. Some would say this is being “in church”. It has a more eternal context to it, though. I think it goes far beyond the idea of a building and focuses on being a member of God’s flock both in this life and the life to come. When we become a sheep in God’s flock in the church age, we are members all the time and for ever, not just when we’re in a building with other sheep.
The main thing that we’ll always see with a sheep who hears and follows the Lord Jesus is that they are where the Lord led them. They won’t be socializing in the wolves’ den or running with goats or playing footsie with the lion. They will be following the Good Shepherd.
John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Follow Thou Me – A poem by Annie Johnson Flint.
“My Sheep Know My Voice” a good old song sung very simply.
First published here Feb. 2013