My people has been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains…
God has made Himself the resting-place for the human soul; and unless we fix our heart upon Him we may rest, but it is only for a time. The rest which God provides for us is a rest which satisfies us, and it is a rest which we can always have, a rest which "remaineth," and which cannot be taken away from the people of God.
1. Many people are weary and very far from restful on account of business cares. You see continually in the newspapers that not only are there many bankruptcies and liquidations, and such like unpleasant occurrences, but the market reports tell us that trade is very unprofitable. Whatever happens, make the best of it. Don't wear away your soul in mourning and repining as if your soul were chained to a perpetually revolving grindstone. Look to the bright side of things. Do the best you can, and do not fear the worst is sure to happen. Remember that God still lives and cares for you. "Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." It is a severe trial of faith in God when death removes the bread-winner from a family. Ah: at such a time of bereavement there is no consolation excepting from trust in God's providential care. He is the Father of the fatherless and the Friend of the widow. Likewise, many a Christian man is ready to say in the desolateness of his sorrow, "I have to tread my path alone!" He does not say that God is dead, but be acts as if he thought so. To doubt the superintending care and consolation of God is practical atheism. When we are in trouble, that is the very time we ought to cast all our care upon Him, for "He careth for us."
2. Then, some may be much troubled because of something going wrong in your family. You may have an undutiful and wicked son or daughter. A man said to me some time ago, "My heart is almost broken!" I asked, "What is the matter?" He answered, "My son — has become an infidel! I would rather have given my life!" Is there no resting-place in such a time of trouble? Yes; there is. Take up your Bible again, and read what God did "for David's sake," how the children of David and their descendants were blest and kept from great evil "for My Servant David's sake." "The prayer of faith shall save the soul."
3. Some of the sharpest troubles experienced in this troublesome world come from misplaced or unrequited affection — what Shakespeare calls in his forcible way "the pangs of despised love." Our only course in this, as in every other heartbreaking matter, is to" take it to the Lord in prayer," trusting in Him, and leaving in His care all the responsibility of one's life.
4. It may be that your trouble is a sinful disposition. You feel that you cannot help yourself. But God can give you relief and rest if you trust in Him. As Jesus restored to health the man who was sick of the palsy, so God can restore your soul by heavenly grace. Lastly, I wished to give you an assurance of rest in God's paradise.
Parallel VersesKJV: My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
WEB: My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray; they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.