Monday, September 23, 2013

Sheep, Feelings, and Other Good Stuff

One of the things I adore about the Word of God is the way it hangs together and flows from Genesis 1:1 all the way through to Revelation 22:21. 

There's something beautiful and majestic about the consistency of the Almighty's message about Himself and His perfect plans. It inspires awe.

There are many illustrations of the extending and expounding richness of Scripture. Some may already be jumping to your mind. Others are a bit more obscure. I came across one example recently in my devotions.

The author of Psalm 44 compares God's actions to humble His people to turning them over "to be devoured like sheep" in verse 11. He continues the analogy in verse 22, 
"Yet for your sake we face death all day long; 
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 

These are pretty tough words. They certainly express the psalmist's feelings that God has utterly turned His back on those He calls His own. 

I label the description as feelings because they communicate an emotional response not the reality of the circumstances. The feelings of loneliness especially in suffering can be powerful even overwhelming, but the Truth is that God does not abandon those He loves.

This understanding is underscored in other portions of Scripture, but perhaps most compellingly in Romans 8.

Paul reminds the followers of Jesus throughout the chapter of the freedom and security we have in the Christ. You can't help but be encouraged and built up by reading about our extraordinary position as beloved children and co-heirs with the Son of God. 

The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to address the feelings of being discarded found in Psalm 44 in the midst of communicating the Father's assurances to the contrary.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 

"'For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.'

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (verses 35-39)

The repetition of the Old Testament passage into the New Testament declaration affirms and intensifies the continuity of Scripture. There is significance in the comparison with Christ who appeared in flesh to become the sacrificial Lamb to redeem us sheep. Jesus was not led astray by the feelings of being separated and alone though He experienced them. Revelation 5:12, John 10:15, Luke 22:42, Matthew 27:46, Hebrews 4:15

Paul clarifies that such feelings are false

It is a glorious Truth that we can never be disconnected or isolated away from God. His love is an unbreakable bond. No matter the details. No matter the threat. No matter the reaction. Those who are in Christ are victorious for the great I AM is with those He loves at all times and in every situation.


  1. Amen!! This is a good word, well spoken. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thanks, Joy. It was a blessing to walk through it with the Lord.