The Story Of The Found Sheep
Another great hymn that came out of a poem written by Elizabeth Clephane called The Lost Sheep is There Were Ninety And Nine That Safely Lay.
Back in 1874 an American Evangelist DL Moody and Ira Sankey toured Scotland. At the end of a meeting in Edinburgh, Moody asked Ira if he had an appropriate song to end the meeting with. Whilst travelling, Ira had come across Elizabeth’s poem and in his mind set it to music and sang it which appropriately met the title of the message that evening The Good Shepherd based on the parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15 verse 3-7.
1) There were ninety and nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold, but one was out on the hills away far off from the gates of gold. Away on the mountains wild and bare away from the tender Shepherds care.
2) Lord thou hast here thy ninety and nine are they not enough for thee? The Shepherd answered “This of mine has wandered away from me and although the road be rough and steep, I go to the desert to find my sheep.” 3) But none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed, nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through ere he found his sheep that was lost. Out in the desert he heard its cry – sick and helpless and ready to die.
4) “Lord whence are those blood-drops all the way that mark out the mountains track?” They were shed for the one who had gone astray ere the Shepherd could bring him back. “Lord whence are thy hands so rent and torn? They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”
5) But all thro’ the mountains thunder-riv’n and up from the rocky steep, there arose a glad cry to the gate of heaven, “Rejoice I have found my sheep!”
The angels echoed around the throne “Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own. Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own.” Luke 15 verse 10 “In the same way I (Jesus) tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”.
Verse 4 of the hymn says: “Lord whence are those blood-drops all the way that mark out the mountain track?”
Luke 23 verse 22, Pilate said he would have Jesus punished although He found Him innocent. There must have been a trail of blood from the beating Jesus endured up the hill to Calvary’s Cross. “Lord whence are thy hands so rent and torn?
Acts 2 verse 23 “This man (Jesus) was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge and you with the help of wicked men put Him to death by nailing him to the cross.”
God’s set purpose is John 3 verse 16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (Jesus) that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Christ Jesus gives eternal life by changing lives of those who truly repent and put their faith and trust in Him, The Good Shepherd. This is how to be A Found Sheep. There is no other way.
“Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own!” Is this you?