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Sinners Need Restoration like Cast Sheep Need Rescued

One of the dangers facing a sheep is that it becomes ‘cast’ and one of the challenges facing a shepherd is to make sure that his sheep do not become cast. A cast sheep is one that has turned over on its back and is, become of it lack of agility and it thick wooly coat, is unable to get up again by itself and will, if not helped, die in that position. This condition is not uncommon among pregnant sheep. Unless the shepherd keeps diligent watch over his flock, a cast sheep will die or fall victim to predators. The shepherd must "restore" such sheep. He must help the cast sheep to get back on its feet again and regain its equilibrium.

Author Phillip Keller writes: “A ‘cast down’ sheep is a very pathetic sight. Lying on its back, its feet in the air, it flays away frantically struggling to get up, without success. It will bleat out for help in frightened frustration. If the shepherd does not arrive on the scene within a reasonably short time, the sheep will die. This is why it is so essential for a shepherd to look over his flock every day, making sure they are up on their feet. If even one is missing the first thought to flash to the shepherd’s mind is “One of my sheep is cast down somewhere. I must go in search of it and set it on its feet again.”

But it’s not only the “cast-down” sheep that need restoring, but also the constantly wandering sheep.”

Haddon Robinson tells that when a shepherd took his sheep out to graze that often, one of the sheep would become interested in a tuft of grass here and another there and another. Finally, without realizing, it discovers it has wandered away from the flock. The shepherd that night counts the sheep when they come into the fold: “96-97-98-99" and discovers one is missing. And so leaving his flock in the care of a trusted friend he moves out into the darkness. As he walks he calls out and listens for the cry of the sheep. Finally, out in the darkness, he hears the bleating of this lost one. He goes to it, puts it on his shoulders and brings it back to the fold.

I have seen many a child of God needing restoration. There have been many a time when I have needed restoration. Times when I have wandered into sin, and the Shepherd came and fetched me. And some of you know what I am talking about this morning - you wandered into sin, and He fetched you.

From a sermon by Emile Wolfaardt, My Soul-His Delight, 10/22/2009

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