“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold. All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, ‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them, for they sinned against the LORD, their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors.’” [Jeremiah 50:6-7]
In the scriptures above, Prophet Jeremiah draws our attention to the following characters;
- the lost sheep
- the shepherds
- the enemies and
- the LORD, the true place of rest.
We see a flock which has entirely surrendered its life into the hands of these wicked dangerous shepherds rather than God. We also see a flock which does not discern between good and evil – feeding on whatever pasture the shepherds lead them to. A flock totally lost that they cannot even remember the true doctrines of their ancestors.
The question is, “Are all these shepherds appointed by God?”
Yes and No.
What does Apostle Paul tell us in Acts 20:28-30 (Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.)
A good shepherd’s intention is not to destroy the flock and distort the truth but to feed the sheep on life-giving pasture, gather and protect the sheep, give hope to the sheep, lift up the weak and the brokenhearted.
I believe there are thousands of sheep [Christians] out there that have faced the wrath of their shepherds ignorantly. I have been there before – spiritually beaten up day after day and felt lost, until I realized that my life does not have to entirely depend on the shepherds but God. See Psalm 23:1-3 (The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.) God does not appoint shepherds to beat the sheep but to feed and point them to Christ.
As we walk this Christian life, there are many people watching over us but mainly two have much interest in knowing “how we live and what we do with our lives in private or in open”. God is watching us and the enemy [the devil] too. The enemy knows when you have sinned and when you have done right. And when you sin, when you go astray leaving the path of righteousness, this becomes his legal right to deal with anyone in any way he pleases.
But thank God, He says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that, (If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.)
God in His faithful love shows us the way back to the sheepfold through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He forgives ALL our sins and leads us back to the sheepfold. And no one is lost beyond recovery as long as there’s still breath in him or her!