Today... 'The Good Shepherd'
The ninety and nine in the fold safely lay
But this one sheep had foolishly gone astray
And as he lay bleating all lost and afraid
The Good Shepherd heard his cry and came to his aid
All through the wilderness the Good Shepherd went
To seek and save the lost sheep was His intent
Fierce ravening wolves pursued Him all the way
and the thorns tore His flesh throughout that day.
All through the night he toiled and did not sleep
For he was determined to rescue and save His lost sheep
Even though in Gethsemane drops of blood He sweat
He would not be dissuaded from the pathway set
And when He came to Golgotha's steep Hill
He did not hesitate but He carried on still
Onward and upward He went to be crucified
And there on the cross for His sheep He died
Stricken and smitten of God was He
And by His stripes I have been set free
The price of my sins by His blood he paid
And all my iniquity upon Him was laid
The Bulls of Bashan tore at His side
And the gates of death were opened wide
He entered Death and Hades to pay the price
Offering His body as the perfect sacrifice
Deep wounds in His hands and feet he bore
Head torn by the crown of thorns He wore
Alone He suffered thirsty and bleeding
As there for His sheep He was interceding
Lesser shepherds and hireling would have fled
But He stood firm and for His sheep He bled
Enduring such suffering in order to save
This poor lost sheep from Hell and the grave
He lifted me out of the miry clay
and upon His shoulders I gently lay
Brought me into the security of the pen
right through the vale of death to heaven.
(additional background information is provided in the Poem's story box below)
Poet's Notes about The Poem
'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
'I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
All quotations ©NIV
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 Shepherd's care.
Away from the tender Shepherd's care.
'Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee? '
But the Shepherd made answer: '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,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.'
But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night 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;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.
'Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain's track? '
'They were shed for 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;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.'
And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of Heaven,
'Rejoice! I have found My sheep! '
And the angels echoed around the throne,
'Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own! '
Elizabeth C. Clephane,1868.
Comments about this poem (Today... 'The Good Shepherd' by Roy Allen )
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