[popup url=”http://blb.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=01/19&body”]» Today’s reading at Blue Letter Bible[/popup]
Spurgeon is lamenting the situation where we as believer’s decide to stray from our Lord. And Spurgeon exhorts us who find ourselves in that situation to turn back to Jesus.
One thing we know from Scripture is that if we are Christ’s people (“sheep”) and have left Him (“gone astray”)—then He is pursuing us. All we have to do to find Christ is to turn towards Him.
So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.–Luke 15:3-7 NKJV
Our Shepherd is right beside us. If it is indeed hard as Spurgeon says (and I do somewhat question this) then it is hard only because of the immensity of our fallen human pride. Sin easily leads us astray. Pride and sin keeps us from returning to our Master.
I enjoy much more the imagery of Jesus’ parable. The sheep in the parable once found is not required to cling to the shepherd, He wraps the sheep on His shoulders and there it is safe. And if this be the actions of a human shepherd, how much more our Great Shepherd loves us.
And in the text referenced by Spurgeon, Song of Solomon 3:1, the Shulamite did in fact find her Beloved.
[The Shulamite] By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him. “I will rise now,” I said, “And go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love.” I sought him, but I did not find him. The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, “Have you seen the one I love?” Scarcely had I passed by them, When I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, Until I had brought him to the house of my mother, And into the chamber of her who conceived me.–Song 3:1-4 NKJV (Bold emphasis added)
Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.–Luke 24:45 KJV
It is wonderful that the LORD does open our eyes. For we really would be lost without His direction. In context the verse is speaking of Christ with the Apostles after the resurrection. They had been traveling with Him for over three years. Such close communion with Jesus. Yet, He still needed to open their eyes as to what was happening in relation to God’s revealed plan of salvation.
We cannot rely upon our understanding, even after intense study, if that study is not illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Recall Simon Peter’s encounter with Christ recounted in the Scriptures:
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed [this] to you, but My Father who is in heaven.–Matthew 16:15-17 NKJV
Peter had got it right! But only because God had opened his eyes. Could Peter now rely on his own knowledge and experience with Jesus? Peter thought so. However, his next utterance in Scripture shows otherwise.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”–Matthew 16:22-23 NKJV
In one case God revealed things to Peter’s spiritual eyes, and just after, Satan is whispering in Peter’s ears. Thank the LORD that we have His Word by which to judge our thoughts and actions, and to show us great things!
Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.–Psalm 119:18 NKJV
My Prayer: LORD, may I always be attuned to Your leading. Open Your Word to me today, open my eyes, open my ears, and show me wondrous things!