Where do the sheep run when they seek to escape the stranger? “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” Psalm 46:1. We have had a day of prayer last Sabbath. We are hiding in the Lord in this day of trouble!
WHEN IN DANGER THEY SEEK THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God,” John 6:66-69.
IT WAS HIS VOICE WHICH DROVE THE FALSE DISCIPLES AWAY
The ‘false’ disciples forsook Christ because they did not like what He was saying! “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? . . . . From that timemany of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him,” verses 60, 66.
CONTINUING AFTER CHRIST IS PROOF THAT WE REALLY ARE THE SAVIOUR’S SHEEP.
“As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed,” John 8:30-31. “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not,” John 8:43-45.
The Psalm 1 repeats that truth. Let us read it in closing.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly arenot so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish,” Ps 1:1-6.
Last Tuesday we learned that in Israel, the sheep always follow the voice of the shepherd.
That is how we today know the Saviour – by His Voice! “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20.
There was one further illustration of this truth which I did not have time to show you or to comment on.
“And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God,” Luke 13:11-13. Luke 21:28, same word is translated “look up”. So she could not ‘look up’. The poor stooped woman could not have looked up to see Christ but she came to Him by following the sound of His voice! What a wonderful picture we have here!
Now we come to the verse 5. “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
PLEASE NOTICE, THE SHEEP RUN FROM STRANGERS!
“They . . . . will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
The sheep can teach us all a lesson! Stay away from strangers!
The very opposite to the sinner! The Christians is different in all things, boys and girls. Do not try to imitate the world and its ways. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Rom 12:2.
But especially in the religious arena, we ought to copy the sheep and not follow anyone who is not our true Shepherd. Such have only one desire. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves,” Matt 7:15. Such have only one intention – the destruction of the sheep of God.
IN ISRAEL, THE SHEEP ALWAYS FOLLOW THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD.
That is how we know the Saviour – by His Voice! “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20.
This is very important to learn! Gal 1:8-9. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any manpreach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Again, we find this topic being dealt with by Paul.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works,” 2 Cor 11:13-15.
That is how we know the TRUE from the FALSE ! “If they speak not according to this word” they are deceivers!
We continue to consider just what the Saviour tells us about Himself, the SHEPHERD and His sheep. We considered how the Lord knew his sheep but the sheep also know the shepherd
SINNERS EVER RUN AND HIDE FROM THE VOICE OF THE LORD.
We noted Genesis 3:8. All their lives they do so. And it is how it ends. They who wish to hide away from the gospel light have their wish granted! “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day,” Jude 6. Here is the darkness to which sinners are going!
“These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever,” 2 Peter 2:17. Darkness, eternal darkness awaits the gospel rejector!
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Rev 6:15-17. The Lord’s voice will be hear by men however on that day. “The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel,” Joel 3:15-16.
Beware, boys and girls, of rejecting Christ’s voice of mercy.