All We Like Sheep

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. —Isaiah 53:6-7

Sometimes we forget the implications of the first verse in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd.” If the Lord is our Shepherd, that must mean we are sheep. The prophet Isaiah certainly thought so. His description wasn’t selective. Not, some of us like sheep, but all of us “like sheep have gone astray;we have turned—every one—to his own way.”

Isaiah’s description begs the question, “How are we like sheep?” Frankly, the comparison is not a pretty picture. We can’t say a lot of flattering things about sheep. But the Lord calls Himself our Shepherd because we really are like sheep.

First, we are prone to follow like sheep. Put a flock of sheep in the middle of a lush, green pasture; turn your back on them for five minutes, and they’re poking their noses under the fence. Human beings have a herding instinct too. We wear what our friends are wearing, talk like everyone around us is talking, and go where everyone is going. And we are so trusting, particularly when it comes to bad advice. Sheep are like that—going astray while following other wandering sheep.

Second, we’re like sheep because we’re vulnerable. I remember going to my grandpa’s farm when I was a little and noticing how most farm animals get along pretty well without human supervision. Chickens, horses, pigs, and cows can handle their surroundings on their own. Not sheep. They get a shepherd—because they need one. Like sheep, we are unstable, weak, and require constant care and protection.

Third, we are stubborn like sheep. We want to do things our way. If I have learned anything from teaching God’s Word it’s that people are stubborn! You can tell them the same truth over and over, but they often require a harsh reality check before they realize how far they have wandered. We’re stubborn. We are like sheep.

Isaiah put together the common factors between us and sheep. “All we like sheep have gone astray.” Without a shepherd, we’re lost. We truly have gone astray. That little phrase defines how many of us live much of our lives not where we should be or doing what we were designed to do. God wants us living in ways that are best for us, but we wander off on tangents and end up far from a great life. We miss the path and stray from His guidance.

Since we are like sheep it’s such great news that we have a Shepherd. Jesus gave His life for us, saving us from being eternally lost because of our sin. As Isaiah put it, “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Having taken our sins, Jesusis willing to lead us every day. Are you His sheep? Have you acknowledged Him as your Shepherd?

Journal

  • If you claim to know Jesus the Shepherd, how do you see Him carrying out His shepherding duties in your life right now?

Pray

Lord, thank You that even though we are embarrassingly like sheep in so many ways, one way we’re not is that we can talk to You. You gave us the priceless gift of communication with each other and with You. We can come to You with worship and praise, knowing that You delight in our expressions of gratitude. On behalf of the rest of the flock today, Lord, I give You eternal thanks for being our faithful Shepherd. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.