I once was lost and now I’m lost…again?
I once was lost but now I’m found… (Amazing Grace)
Famous words that echo the sinner’s delight at God’s rescue.
But can you be found by God and lost at the same time?
The final verse of Psalm 119 thinks so:
I have wandered like a lost sheep. Seek your servant! For I have not forgotten your commands
How is this even possible?
Surely those that anchor their lives on God’s promises and follow his commands are blessed? (Psalm 119:1).
How can they be lost?
What I think we're looking at here is long term stress and it's part of the believer's life.
I’ve been working my way through Psalm 119 and posting new videos for each stanza of Psalm 119. That’s 22 videos for 22 letters in Anton’s A-Z to the Good Life, Family Devotion Video course.
Today I’m posting the final video in the series, the final alphabet letter, taw. How exciting!
It’s been a huge task, but a very rewarding one. I’ve benefitted enormously looking at God’s word from the original language, slowly picking away at the detail. It’s been great to go all the way back to the basics of learning the alphabet and a bit of each letters history and discover how it has influenced the shape of Psalm 119.
In the last stanza, we have 8 lines beginning with the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Taw. One of the highlights of this section is that the writer shows us that the destination for the ‘blessed’ or good life is ‘praise’.
Here’s a sample:
V171 Let my lips pour out praise, for you teach me your statutes
V172 my tongue sings your word, for all your commands are righteous
V175 let me live so I may praise you and may your judgements come to my aid
So how does one come to be so found and yet…lost?
V176 I have wandered like a lost sheep
Think about it, you can be found, that is known God’s salvation and unfailing love for you, but experience times where you really don’t know what the heck is going on. You feel lonely, confused. You may even begin to doubt God’s goodness. You may have the path to the good life but even though you hold fast to His word, find yourself in very unpleasant circumstances.
Where is God?
The psalmist comes back every time throughout the 176 verses, to the reliability of God and his love for him.
That’s why he cries out…’Come find me’.
Yep, the 2nd last line of the longest psalm in the Bible is ‘come find me’.
So, if you have faith in Jesus and trust His word but find yourself out on a limb, waiting for Him to act. This is for you.
‘Come find me’.
Describing himself as a lost sheep immediately propels us into the New Testament where we find Jesus, the good shepherd, coming to seek and save the lost.
Now normally we reserve the title of ‘lost’ to people who don’t trust in Jesus, who have wandered from the path of the good life. Who have ignored God’s word, forgotten it. Think of ‘sinners’ like Zacchaeus or the prodigal son. Jesus comes to ‘seek’ them out and ‘save’ them.
But here, in Psalm 119, we have a story of a faithful, saved person who relies on God’s word, who has not forgotten his commands. Yet he says he has wandered like a lost sheep.
Maybe the loneliness of following God’s path is too much. Maybe the promise of being in God’s love feels very distant. Maybe you’ve remembered God, but wonder if He’s remembered you. You’re exposed. You’re ignored. You’re mocked and isolated. Long term stress can be very corrossive.
The lost sheep is a beautiful, emotive picture. We immediately think of Jesus carrying the lost sheep home on his back according to the parable he told.
We know how the story ends. The good shepherd seeks and finds his sheep.
The lost get to tell the world and sing his praises, that though they were found, they’ve not been forgotten and been found all over again.
Keep an eye out for an opening special on Anton’s A-Z to the Good Life, celebrating the completion of all the videos for you and your family.
Make sure your subscribed to www.antonsantics.com to hear the special