Slumbering shepherds or Seeking Shepherd

Nahum 3:18 reads “Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.” This slumbering shepherds here refer to the rulers (nobles, princes, and officials) in the army of the vile king of Assyria (most likely reference here is to Sennacherib), who were supposed to keep watch over their own people, but are now no where to be found (), because they have been put to sleep/slumber (killed) in the dust, by the invading Medo-Babylonian army that God raised against them, to avenge his people (of Judah), whom they oppressed grievously. The king trusted in his own strength and military might (his rulers and officials) instead of on the Lord (2 Kings 19:8-13) only to find out that it was futile.

Contrarily, God the Good Shepherd is One who never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4). He is a Seeking Shepherd going after those who are lost (Luke 15:4-6) never abandoning his own people.

Points to ponder:
Are you in the fold of men who are like slumbering shepherds, putting your trust in officials (managers and leaders) who seek their own interests or are you in the fold of the One Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, trusting solely in him. Jesus said that he is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and he came to seek and to save those who were lost (Luke 19:10), by willingly giving his life for all lost in sin (John 10:18). Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) and will be with you even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).

Nahum 3:18 (KJV)
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.

John 10:11-18 (KJV)
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

A sinner magnet

Luke 15:1 records the parable of the lost sheep. It states that the publicans (tax collectors) and sinners drew near unto Jesus in order to hear him. This led to those who were self-righteous to murmur that “Jesus communed with sinners.” At this juncture, Jesus narrates the parable of the lost sheep to imply that the “never-giving up” God would go after even the one sinner who is lost as would a good Shepherd after a sheep that is lost.

And hidden in this account is the fact that publicans and sinners were attracted (drew near) to Jesus. They came near Him in order to hear Him. What was it that they wanted to hear? Jesus was recognized to be teacher from God for His words were accompanied by miracles (John 3:2). The disciple of Christ correctly recognized that solely in Christ were words of eternal life; words that assured hope for the hopeless (John 6:68). He did not condemn anyone, evidence of which we see in His encounter with the adulteress woman, as He expressed this vocally, stating “I do not condemn thee, go and sin no more. Sinners came to Christ as they could hear only from Him words that could save and sanctify them. Jesus was a sinner magnet!

Points to ponder:
1. Do those who don’t know Christ Jesus (the lost sheep) draw near to us to hear us, as they did with Jesus?
2. Do we have the words of eternal life i.e., the Gospel of Jesus that condemns no one who puts their trust in Him and gives hope to the hopeless?
3. Are you and I a sinner magnet? Jesus was one!

Luke 15:1 (KJV)
1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

John 8:10-11 (KJV)
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

A desperate God

I remember an incident that happened when I was a little boy. My parents had taken me for some festive event, in a public place, where I got separated from my parents and was lost in the crowd. In that crowd, I found my way somehow to the individual with a microphone and said something like “my parents are lost“. Hearing that announcement, my parents who were desperately and anxiously looking for me, found me with the announcer and we were reunited.

What I’d like us to focus is that many times, we who are lost, dont think that we are lost. We instead think that God is no where to be found and that God is lost. I should have rightfully told the announcer, that “I was lost” but instead, I said “My parents are lost”. All the time, my parents were desperately looking for me, even in a crowd, because I was loved and I belonged to them. Likewise, God desperately looks for each one of us, even in a world filled with many, because each of us are loved and each of us belong to Him. Jesus (God) is a seeking shepherd who will leave the 99 to seek after the 1 that is lost.

If you were to tell God, “I am lost without you” (as a child who has lost his/her parents), you may only be pleased to hear Him say “I am desperate without you” (as a parent who has lost their son/daughter).

When you think that God is No-Where to be found, the reality is God is NOW-HERE to be found! Tell God, “I am lost with you” and wait to hear Him respond …

Luke 15:1-6 (KJV)
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.