My people has been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains…
I. THE HUMAN SOUL NEEDS A RESTING-PLACE.
1. This is true of the soul in innocence. As a creature he could not but be dependent. Without unquestioning trust in God, safety and happiness were impossible to man even before the fall.
2. How much more true is this since man has become a sinner. His nature is utterly weary. The cares and anxieties of life are wearing away his strength, and there is nothing binding him to earth but the fear of death The past is guilty, the future is hopeless, and so the present is restless.
II. JESUS CHRIST IS THE RESTING-PLACE THE SOUL NEEDS.
1. In Christ we have full redemption. No anodynes of earth can give the soul the rest that the blood of Christ can.
2. In Him we also have regeneration. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." A new centre has been given to his heart, a new aim to his life, a new joy to his experience.
3. He gives repose to the intellect. Christ is "the truth," and through confidence all mysteries are accepted as unquestioningly as a child accepts the statement of its parent. Jesus Christ alone brings to the soul the element of certainty, and, worn out by vain flights, it folds its weary wings and rests with quiet thankfulness on this tree of knowledge, which is also the tree of life.
4. He also gives repose to the affections of the soul. Earthly objects prove disappointing or fall away from us, or are torn from us and leave the soul all palpitating with agony, but no power can separate from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
III. THIS RESTING-PLACE OF THE SOUL IS SOMETIMES FORGOTTEN EVEN BY THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN AND ENJOYED IT. A Christian may frequently have his peace in Christ" disturbed. At moments he may be walking through darkness. Job was a true man of God even when he was crying out, Oh, that I knew where I might find Him!" True, a Christian is not justified in being in this distressed state of mind. He ought to know better, &c.
1. When he falls into perplexity, doubting whether he is forgiven or not.
2. When he depends upon merely human and earthly resources.
3. When he loses his confidence in the midst of affliction.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
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.