“Hundreds of sheep followed their leader off a cliff in eastern Turkey, plunging to their deaths this week while shepherds looked on in dismay. Four hundred sheep fell 15 metres to their deaths in a ravine in Van province near Iran but broke the fall of another 1,100 animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. The loss to local farmers was estimated at $74,000.” (Report from BBC, July 8, 2005)
Blindly following a leader has gotten lots of people into trouble, too. That’s why we need the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus who watches over us and has given His life to save us from the foolish consequences of our headstrong ways. Will we follow Him or wander off to do our own thing—or follow “other sheep” into total ruin?
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
This was the headline in one paper today. Lance Armstrong’s fall is filed in my mind alongside the disgrace and demise of notorious characters like Saddam Hussein and Khadaffi. And I am reminded of God’s promise/warning that evildoers will surely reap the consequences of their sin sooner or later. Just as sure is His promise that those who are godly and faithful will be rewarded. My problem is that I’m too impatient. It’s hard to wait while evil keeps winning and the innocent are oppressed. Psalm 73 is a great read for times like this.
A TV commentator talking about Lance’s talk with Oprah said that “full confession must precede redemption and forgiveness.” Wow! I wonder if he realized that he was expressing deep spiritual truth as well. I pray that the world won’t just gawk and point fingers at Lance, but that there will be soul-searching to see where we are denying the truth and condemning ourselves. Confession and repentance are a heavy price to pay, and there will be consequences—BUT aren’t redemption and forgiveness well worth it in the long run?
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!