Isaiah chapter 53:6. “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, every one, to his own way. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
This is right in the middle of a prophecy about Jesus. About how Jesus would come, and he would be pierced for our transgressions, he would be crushed for our inequities. How he would pay the price of sin that we deserve. When you get to verse 6, it starts talking about us, and the Bible describes us as sheep that have gone astray, that have turned aside to our own. This describes the sinfulness of our hearts. Every one of us. It looks different in all of our lives, but we all have turned aside from God’s way to our own ways. And we are continually prone to do that, even when we have trusted in the forgiveness that God gives. We’re still prone to turn aside from God’s way to our own ways.
So there’s a lot of teachers, and even preachers today, who would tell us we should believe in ourselves. We should have confidence in ourselves. We should be proud of ourselves. But that’s not what the Bible is saying here. The Bible is saying you’re like a foolish sheep. You think you know what you’re doing, but you are clueless. You are so prone to wander, just like sheep. You look at sheep in the world … I’ve never been a sheep herder myself, but reading about them, seeing them, sheep are not the smartest of animals. They’re prone to wander all the time. Wander off aimlessly. They have no defense mechanisms when they’re in danger. They’re only possibility is to run from that which is endangering them, but they’re slow. Sheep are not smart animals. They’re prone to wander.
We are prone to turn aside from God’s way to our own way. But Jesus has paid the price for every time we’ve wandered.
And that’s the picture God, in his Word, is giving us of ourselves. All of us. So not just some of us. Don’t think that any one of us is excluded here. All of us are like sheep who’ve gone astray. So the sharpest, smartest, richest, most intelligent in the world is like a dumb sheep that’s prone to go astray. And the beauty of this verse is that God has chosen to pour out the judgment that we deserve in our sin, for our rebellion against him, the Lord has laid on Jesus the inequity of us all. Jesus has paid the price for every time we have turned aside from God’s way to our own way. God has chosen to pour the judgment we deserve for that upon Jesus in our place.
So God, we humbly bow our hearts before you now, and we pray that you’d forgive us. We confess, oh God, that we are like foolish sheep. Even today, I look at my own life, I’m still, today, all day long, in every turn, I’m prone to turn from your way to my own way. I see this in my life. Help us all to see this in our lives, and to be humbled in it. And yet at the same time, to see your grace and mercy. Thank you, God. Thank you for your love for us. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for all of our wandering and our rebellion. God, thank you for sending Jesus to make it possible for us as sheep who’ve gone astray to be brought back to you. Thank you for your love for us, to bring us back to you. And in light of that love, we pray today, help us not to wander. God, help us not to wander as those who have been saved from going to our own way instead of your way. God, help us to live walking in your ways, according to your Word, the accomplishment of your will. God, help us to walk humbly with you today according to your ways. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.