1 Peter 2:18-25
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the fraudulent.…
It is well to look back sometimes.
I. ESTRANGEMENT. "For ye were as sheep going astray." "All we like sheep have gone astray." There is a depth of meaning in the expression "going astray" which very fittingly represents the condition of man with regard to Divine things. It implies —
1. A state of dissatisfaction. Neither men nor animals, as a rule, leave that which gives them satisfaction and enjoyment. With regard to man and God the word very far from expresses the real state. Man is more than dissatisfied. He abhors the necessities which the Divine fold entails. He hates the restraint, the associations, the duties.
2. A state of unrest. It is a constant wandering; a going hither and thither without a settled purpose; a drifting on the sea without an aim; going whither chance or the whim of the moment may lead.
3. A state of danger.
II. RECONCILIATION. "But are now returned." There is something very pleasant in the word "return." It speaks of old associations renewed, severed connections reunited. It means something so different to a new breaking of the ground. The reunion with old familiar places, persons, or things has a charm which has in itself the spirit of poetry and the reality of prose. The sheep returning to the fold goes back to the familiar ways, familiar surroundings, and the familiar voice of the shepherd. And so the soul going to God is only returning to its normal condition. Don't let us forget that the coming to the fold of Christ is a return. An important point concerning this return is that it is not natural. It is not easy or pleasant to retrace our steps, to acknowledge our folly.
III. SAFETY. "Return to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." Here is ample protection, security, and supply.
Parallel VersesKJV: Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.