A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Sheep in Mountainous Colorado
(Photo by Phil Huber)
Click on photo to enlarge
Message summary: Have you returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul?
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25).
Phil is a friend who recently returned from a hunting trip in Colorado. He shared our lead photo of a long line of sheep along a Colorado highway being moved to pasture. Enlarge the photo and you will see a "shepherd" on a horse guiding the sheep. Phil told me there were several of these cowboys as well as the dependable and energetic border collies.
Seeing these sheep reminds us of the many Bible stories and illustrations about sheep. There is much to consider as we look at sheep in relation to the Great Shepherd. The Bible frequently uses the image of a shepherd and sheep to demonstrate man’s relationship with God. In fact it begins as early as Genesis 49:24 and continues through the final book of Revelation 7:17. Of course the most beloved and comforting passage using this metaphor from the Old Testament is Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd”. In the New Testament the most familiar passage is our Lord’s words, “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11).
Isaiah, in the great chapter concerning the Messiah, states, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). Indeed we have all gone astray, for “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Sheep gone astray are sheep surrounded by danger since they have no ability to protect themselves. They’re at the mercy of other predatory animals and aren’t built for speed even if they do run. They’re easily lost with no GPS to find their way home. Poisonous weeds look just as inviting as green pastures for grazing. And I don’t need to tell you that moving vehicles are obviously a deadly force that sheep cannot defeat! Much like the sheep that face lethal enemies daily, we too deal with an enemy Peter describes as “the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Have you returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul? Although the Shepherd seeks the lost sheep, we have a free will. Are you in His fold of safety today? If you’re in His fold, rejoice; life’s biggest problem has been resolved!
If you have gone astray and away from the sheepfold return to Him. Hear the voice of the Shepherd calling to you, “Come home!” Respond to the beckoning voice of the Great Shepherd today. Any fleshly temptation to indulge in passing pleasure pales in comparison to being under God’s steadfast love and care. Jeremiah writes, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight…” (15:16). He was feeding on some "soul food" while his own people were indulging in the enemy’s poisonous revelry.
Take note of the word "overseer" in our daily text as well. This is the only place in the entire Bible that the underlying Greek word “episkopos” ("bishop" in the KJV) is used in a description of God. It means “one who watches over or superintends”. That’s what I need for my soul today and so do you. I have returned to that Great Shepherd and I don’t want to be lost again! Praise the Lord!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for the great Shepherd of the sheep, who equips us with everything good for doing His will, and who works in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us to always have a heart to follow the Shepherd. We give Him glory forever and ever. Amen. (See Hebrews 13:20,21).
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"All We Like Sheep" Video Don Moen
"Psalm 23" Video Shane & Shane
"The Lord's My Shepherd" Video Stuart Townend
"Psalm 23" Video James River Worship
A collection of sheep photos posted on Daily Encouragement through the years.
"All of us, like sheep, have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6).
"The King of Love My Shepherd Is"
We came upon these sheep that had clearly gone astray on Echo Valley Road here in Lancaster County PA on our way home from church several years ago. (They were likely licking salt that had been spread due to icy conditions. I'm surprised their tongue didn't get stuck!)
This Babydoll Ewe with newborn lamb on the Old Windmill Farm.
Babydoll sheep are known for their apparent "smiles".
(Photo by Jesse Lapp)
This "Baby Doll" Southdown lamb on the Old Windmill Farm appears to be smiling up at Brooksyne as she took this photo!
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