We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;…Isaiah 53:6 (New International Version)
As humans, we are creatures of habit. Even when the course of action we take is detrimental to us, it is often difficult to stop doing the same thing over and over. Whether it is overindulging in the wrong food, seeking relationships with the wrong people, or refusing to acknowledge and address our own stubbornness. Sometimes, our pride and self determination may lead us down a destructive path, oblivious to the danger ahead. Without proper guidance, we are like sheep, left to themselves. It is the definition of being in a “rut”.
Sheep left to themselves “follow the same trails until they become ruts, graze the same hills until they become desolate, and pollute their own ground until it is corrupt with disease and parasites.”(Keller, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23.) They don’t know what’s best for them, and some still insist on going their own way, doing their own thing. Those are the ones that end up on ruined land, malnourished.
One of the many benefits of being under the supervision of the Good Shepherd is He always leads us in paths that are in line with our destiny and purpose on the earth. Often, we choose to do the opposite. The Bible says there is a way that seems right to us, but in the end, it is the way of destruction (Prov 14:12 paraphrased). But our Savior is faithful, He knows the terrain, and He always gets us back on track.
He goes to all this trouble for you and I because His name is on the line. Remember how your mom demanded a clean house, especially when company was coming over? It was because the condition of the home reflected either positively or poorly on the family. Being in God’s family, made righteous by the blood of Jesus, allows us the opportunity to walk in paths that the righteous walk.
The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come.Proverbs 4:18 (Good News Translation)
Keller, W. Phillip. A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1970, 2007