Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 17, 2015

“I am the good shepherd … and I lay down My life for the sheep. … they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Kings Chapter 22.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+22&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“13 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king.  Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.”  14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I shall speak.”

15 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?”  And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”  16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”  17 So he said,

I saw all Israel
Scattered on the mountains,
Like sheep which have no shepherd.
And the Lord said, ‘These have no master.
Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”

34 Now a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor.  So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight;  for I am severely wounded.”  35 The battle raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot.  36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his country.”

37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria.  38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the Lord which He spoke.”  1 Kings Chapter 22:  Verses 13-17 and 34-38.

——————————–

Ahab died, and thus the people of Israel were without a master as prophesied.

Every man went separately to his own city or countryside, and thus the people of Israel were scattered like sheep without a shepherd as prophesied.

Ahab’s blood was wasted and ran into the bottom of the chariot and was later washed out by the pool of Samaria as prophesied.

In sharpest contrast to the death of Ahab which left the people scattered without a shepherd, the death of Christ drew the people of God together with a shepherd.  “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;  and I lay down My life for the sheep.  I have other sheep, which are not of this fold;  I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice;  and they will become one flock with one shepherd.  John 10:14-16.   “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”  John 12:32.

In sharpest to Ahab who did not die for anyone (or maybe who died for everyone), Christ died for His sheep and only for His sheep.  Not everyone is His sheep.  “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;  and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:26-29.

In summary, today’s Scripture helps us meditate on “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  

Other doctrine falsely teaches that Christ died for everyone, but if you closely examine their teaching, you see that their doctrine holds that it is not the blood of Christ that controls who is saved and who is not saved, but rather it is alleged man’s free-will who controls who is saved and who is not saved, so in that sense their doctrine teaches that Christ did not die specifically for anyone which would guarantee that they would be saved.

And, other doctrine falsely leaves it to each individual to make their own free-will decision on whether or not they will follow Christ.  That is consistent with the call:  “Every man to his city and every man to his country.”  Although sheep are dumb, other doctrine still teaches that it is still up to the dumb sheep as to whether or not they will follow the shepherd.

But, Reformed Doctrine, through “Limited Atonement”, teaches that Christ died only for His sheep (God’s unconditional elect) but that each one of His sheep will be saved.  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”  John 10:27-28.

And, Reformed Doctrine teaches that Christ is the good shepherd Who will gather together all of His sheep (God’s unconditional elect) into one flock over whom He will be the one true good shepherd.  Sheep are dumb, and Reformed Doctrine teaches that it is up to their good shepherd to gather them and cause them to follow Him.

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