Monday, February 17, 2014


Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 50

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

For thousands of years sheep have fed on these grasses in the Jordan Rift Valley in Israel. Again and again the Bible likens us to sheep. I think I've found a sheep that represents me in this picture. Pick one out that may represent you! Where is the shepherd?

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Jeremiah 50:6

My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds have led them astray;

They have turned them away on the mountains.

They have gone from mountain to hill;

They have forgotten their resting place.


Chapters 50 (today) and 51 (tomorrow) are the longest pronouncements of judgement against a people. The Chaldeans with their capital city of Babylon (located about 80 km south of modern Bagdad, Iraq) were defeated by the Persians (Iran) and much of the city was destroyed. Sadam Hussein, former President of Iraq, was in the process of beginning to rebuild Babylon when he was removed from power. The rebuilding stopped. The prophecy of Jeremiah remains true to this day (50:39b)…”It shall be inhabited no more forever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.”

Three times in today’s reading the Babylonians are referred to as “proud.” The images of their god, Bel Merodac (or Marduk, creator and sun god), were “broken in pieces” as verse 2 says. “Pride” can be traced to its source; Lucifer, the Archangel, was lifted up in “pride,” sought to be worshipped, and as a result was exiled from Heaven and banished to the earth. He has, by inspiring idolatry, sought to receive the worship that he was denied in Heaven. When Jesus came to us through the gateway of the Virgin’s womb, he modelled the opposite to this pride. For a New Testament reading, consider Philippians 2:5-11.


Lord God, Your Word tells me, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). Also, You tell me that “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). I pray for Your grace so that I may humble myself before You. As I’ve just read in Philippians, Jesus is my Example of humility, and I pray this in His Name. Amen!!!


I’ve just been looking at the sheep in Reynold’s photograph. I identify with the one near the back of the flock that has its head up looking at the familiar paths. I can see those paths on the right. They are worn into the hillside by generations of sheep ascending and descending the slope. Perhaps the sheep with the raised head wants to head back home to the safety of the cave where the shepherd personally stands guard between the sheep and any approaching enemy. I’ve just read, as I’ve done hundreds of times before, John 10:1-18. I have total confidence in Jesus, the One Who said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” In contrast to our “Shepherd,” the people of God in Jeremiah’s prophecy had become as “lost sheep” because of shepherds who had led them astray. I’m singing just now Psalm 23. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” Here’s the song I’ve found online by Keith Green, my son Ron’s musical hero when he was a teenager (click here).

Yours because the “Good Shepherd” takes “Good” care of His own sheep,


P.S. When we travel with our friends in Israel (as we’ll do, God willing, again this November), I often have a little fun by taking the microphone on the bus and pointing out the worn paths on the hillsides, as in today’s picture, I’ll say that the forces of evolution over thousands of years have caused the legs of the sheep and goats to be shorter on one side than the other because they are always on a hillside. I pause to let that sink in, and then I say, with a grin on my face, this gives the sheep trouble when they turn around and start for home (laugh here). This is an example of a warped sense of humour. With all the doom and gloom in our readings, it occurred to me that we could use a laugh. If you don’t find my story funny, please forgive me like Norma-Jean does several times a day!

13 thoughts on “Monday, February 17, 2014

  1. Unfortunately, the link to Keith Green’s song does not play in Canada. Here is another link to “The Lord is my Shepard I Shall Not Want.”

    In Babylonian times, it’s destruction would have seemed unthinkable! So too, the eventual destruction of nations which hold contrary views in principle to our Father God and Lord Jesus Christ. This, not of our own making.

  2. Thanks for lightening up an otherwise sobre reading today.
    It gives me hope for the Middle East to hear of smatterings of Christianity throughout its troubled areas.
    Watched a show on Fifth Estate last night where two men were rescued after waiting on an ice flow in our north country for over 16 hours, after their plane crashed. The temperature was around -20. To make a long story short, I not once heard them mention how God protected them from nature’s elements…..polar bears, short days hampering rescue efforts, etc. Maybe when they’ve had time to let the critical situation sink in, they’ll see Who really rescued them, I pray.
    Have a wonderful week and may God rescue us all on a daily basis.

  3. Good morning from the West Coast. I enjoyed Keith Green’s version of “The Lord is my Shepard I shall not want”

    Philippians 2: 10-11

    … 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


    Have a Spirit filled day everyone… and enjoy!

  4. Amen, Lynda. I was praying today when I awoke that the Lord will reveal Himself to them and they would acknowledge Him as their real rescuer. Amen. One did say that he didn’t think it was his time to die. Thank God for the faith of his daughter. Rich blog again today, David and funny as well as your solution blogger friend, David. Liked both songs too. Thanks. God has changed the wind path here for me and is blowing more snow off my roofs than before. Oh, to trust Him!

  5. I too pray for enough grace to be humble and I know when I stay close to The Lord and in His Word I am tapped into the source of His power.

    Today’s reading is somber but how many times must people be warned before God has to take action. He is so very patient with us and in repentance is always ready to gather us underHis wings. PTL.

    Have a great Family Day everyone.

  6. The grass looks pretty sparse to me. The sheep have to work hard. Maybe you are looking for a more fertile field, David! (but I can’t imagine you taking the easy way out – you’re just looking for a better way).

  7. Yay Saskatchewan is warming up!!
    It’s hard to imagine all the gore etc from the war against Babylon I esp.think of the babes and children.
    And my heart breaks for the people of syria…I hope and pray these govt.evil people will fall.
    Please continue to pray for my brother Brad in panoka hosp. I just wished he could be set free!! And stay on medicines to help him.
    Good blog again today! Have an amazing day everyone.

  8. Hi David:
    When I read at the beginning of your letter about the sheep, I picked the same one for you as you did. I said you were there over looking the field, watching out for the rest of the sheep……made me think of you giving us your thoughts in the blog.
    How can I find info on the Israel trip? there is nothing on the web site or Crossroads360, that I could find.
    Bless you and I love the reading and your thoughts and prayers….Claire

  9. Dear Rev David M:
    Thank you so much for this informative and wonderful insightful blog. When you mentioned the sheep having shorter legs I can actually visualize you on the tour bus with a twinkle in your eyes making your fellow passengers laugh. I also chose the same sheep as you.

    My prayers for the prayer request mentioned in the blog. May God grant healing.

    I pray to the Lord that I will always remain humble, never forgetting that whatever I accomplish may be for His glory. Thank you Jesus for Your faithfulness. Amen.

    Blessings to my fellow bloggers.

    xxx Carole

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