Following the Lord, Who Shepherds Us – Isaiah 49:9-12

12 September, 2021

Book: Isaiah

Following the Servant, Who Shepherds Us

Isaiah 49:9-12

Recap, 3 parts to the Servant Song:

1) The Servant’s Ministry

  • V.1, The Servant’s Preparation for ministry
  • V.2, The Servant’s Practice of ministry is to Preach the Truth
  • V.3, The Servant’s Purpose in ministry is to Glorify God
  • V.3, The Servant’s Identity is The True Israel of God
  • V.4, The Servant’s Trust in the Lord in a “futile” ministry,…
    • He Trusted the Lord for the Rewards of His Ministry,
    • And He Trusted in God for the Strength to Minister
  • Vs.5-6, The Servant’s Mission to Restore Israel is too small…

So, His Mission was expanded 2B Light to the Gentiles

  • vs.7-9, The Scope of: Servant’s Ministry, fr. prison to throne

2) The Lord’s Helping of the Servant to accomplish His Ministry

  • v.8, The Lord Helped, by Hearing the Servant Prayers,
  • v.8, The Lord Helped, by Strengthening the Servant to endure suffering, shame & pain of the Cross, in order to Save us
  • v.8, The Lord helped, by Preserving the Servant in His Infancy, His Life, Ministry, Suff’ring & Thru death to Resurrection
  • The Lord Gave the Servant-Son as Embodiment of New Coven’t

3) The Lord Saves & Comforts His People (both Jew & Gent.)

  • V.9, He Commands the Prisoners to go forth,
  • v.9, He Calls those in Darkness to Show Themselves and in v.13, He Has Mercy on His Afflicted  – But, what does that mean?
  • We’re all born in sin & live, disobedient to our Conscience & God’s Law, and so we’ve become prisoners, living in sp. darkness
  • Christ’s death on cross paid the debt that our sin has created
  • Christ’s death allows God to justly offer us mercy & grace
  • God now commands all men to turn away fr living as disobedient, spiritually imprisoned sinners, & turn t’wd God to live as obedient, God-glorifying Child., Trust., Follow. & Imitat. Christ.
  • We’ve become God’s People of Comforted, freed children….

[Read Eph.2:11-22], rediscovering these wonderful truths

  • PTL, Once separate, but now fellow-citizens, together in Christ
  • John 10:16, Jesus said there’ll be One Flock & One Shepherd
  • We’re God’s Flock of Saved, Sheep, His Children, His Househ’ld
  • But God’s Sheep don’t belong to: world, fr which we’re saved
  • We’re citizens of God’s King., living as resident aliens in World
  • We live surrounded by “thieves & wolves”, those who will do all they can, to entice & lure us away from Following Christ
  • vss9-13 we can see a partial, fulfil of text, when the tribes of Judah-Ben-some Levi, Journeyed, returning to Jerus.-Israel
  • But, Greater Fulfilment, vss.10-12, is as a descript. of our Sp. Journey, following Christ who leads us Home, in2 God’s Presenc

Bible describes our Sp. Journey as: Way of Life, Holiness & Righteous.

  • Psa.16:11, Bible says God… “will show me (us) the path of life
  • Isaiah 35:8–9, says the redeemed walk on Highway of Holiness.
  • Matt.7:13–14, Jesus commands us to “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate & broad is the way that leads to destruction, & there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Of course Christ is the key to finding & staying on that Path of Life

  • In John 14:6 Jesus said…. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  • In John 10:9, Jesus said: I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
  • Christ is the Way, the Path, to bring us to God & to Life.
  • Following Christ, we’re on the Journey, the Path Home to Glory, into the never ending presence of Christ, our King.
  • We’re Surrounded on all sides by Bros & Sis’s journeying w/ us
  • We’re Cheered on by Great cloud of witnesses, already home
  • Best of all, we’re Being Shepherded by Christ, Lord’s Servant….


So, Notice, 1st) The Servant-Shepherd Feeds His Flock   [read v.9]

  • On any journey that we undertake, especially a walking-hiking journey, regular intake of calories to replace/refuel your body, is essential to finishing…The Spiritual Journey is no different
  • We need spiritual food, just as surely… if not more so
  • We need the reg. inptake of food fr Christ’s hand to sustain us

And, PTL, Christ the Good Shepherd Feeds His Sheep:

  • We all know: Psalm 23:1–2 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pasturesto feed Flock
  • 6:35, Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger…he who believes in Me shall never thirst…. Coming to Christ we find feeding for our souls
  • Christ the Good Shepherd has given to His Church, His Word, as His Perfectly Balanced Spiritual Food to sustain us on our…
  • Journey Home into the Presence of God… (nothing new)… But,

Exo.16vss16 & 18, the Lord required every man, to go out and gather it (Manna) according to each one’s need,…. To feed

  • themselves, and those w/I their tents… to feed them…
  • Christ our Shepherd feeds us, but here’s the challenge for us:
  • Are we, Daily Going & Gathering: Bread of Life from Christ, the Good Shepherd, to feed ourselves & family? We must Go & Get
  • If U’re hungry going w/o feeding fr Christ, it’s Not His Fault!
  • Remember also Bread cannot be swallowed whole, it must be chewed and digested to break it down for our bodies to use…
  • So also must the Bread of Life, the spiritual food be digested thru reading, meditating and praying over it & practice
  • Bro & Sis, Christ provides, R we going & getting it? 15mins

Notice also v.9 “their pasture will be on desolate, barren heights.”

  • Why there? Why on Desolate, Barren Hts will find pasture
  • I Got 2 Thinking about God’s Use of Wild’ness-Desert Areas…
  • 3, God met & commissioned Moses, at back of the Desert,
  • 16, God met Israel’s need & sent Bread fr. Hvn in Desert
  • 19, God met Israel & Gave: Cov’nt in Wild’ness @ Mt Sinai
  • 19, God met Elijah near cave, in Wild-ness, to speak to him
  • 3, God met Jews thru John Baptist’ preach. in Wild-ness, as the people went out to hear God’s words thru Him
  • Gospels speak of God met w/ Jesus in solitude in Wild-ness
  • Bros & Sis’ at risk of “over-spiritualising”… God promised us: that the desolate heights would be pasture 4 the flock of God


  • When, in our lives, we’re taken thru times of isolation, & loss, & loneliness, & pain, & hunger for God… Into wilderness places…
  • and the safety/security of family, friends, life-comforts, all stripped away & we cry out to God, to meet… to hear His voice…
  • Those moments R Sweetest & Best on our Journey, home 2 God
  • On the Desolate Heights, God meets w/ us, speaks thru His Word, Ministers His Comforting Spirit to us, then those desolate, barren heights become the Lush pastures of God….
  • Christ is our Shepherd, in those moments, like no others…..
  • Do not Despise: desolate, barren, difficult parts of the Sp. Journey – that’s when-where our shepherd meets & ministers to us, in ways far beyond the normal parts of the journey.


Notice 2nd) Vs.10a, The Servant-Shepherd Protects His Flock

  • Notice 10 “neither heat nor sun shall strike them”
  • Christ the Faithful Servant-Shepherd Protects His Sheep
  • Note: “strike” here has: idea of irrevocable damage or death
  • 2:12, Moses struck: Egyptian, killing Him – same word
  • 12:29, Angl of death struck firsborn to kill them – same wd

But, Christ the Shepherd of God’s Flock will Protect His Flock,

  • So, neither the heat or sun can strike them to destroy them
  • Nothing will be allowed to take us from Him, from His Hand
  • He will bring us all safely home – John 10:28, Jesus said: And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
  • But, remember this, Beloved, enduring Persecution, Suffering, even Martyrdom, cannot take us fr. Christ’s Safe Grasp.

Rom.8:35 Who shall separate us fr. Christ’s love, Shall tribulation,

  • distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword? None!
  • Becoz, Christ-Good-Chief-Shepherd will Shelter His Flock
  • Just as surely as God delivered David Bear, Lion, Giant & Madman King, so Christ our Shepherd will deliver us fr any-all who would cause us to abandon our faith, walk away fr. Christ
  • 61:3–4 For You have been past a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. 4 I will-abide future in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. (past & future)
  • 121:3–6,The Lord is our keeper; our shade at our right hand. The sun shall not strike us by day, Nor the moon by night.

But, What does it require of us, to know the Lord’s Protection?

  • Psalm 31:23–24 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. 24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.
  • Stay close by the Lord to know His protecting hand
  • Stay faithful to the Lord as U-I all walk “this Wild-ness road”
  • Listen to His Instruction, His Counsel, His Words
  • Walk closely with the Lord, do not allow yourself to drift away
  • Stay close to God’s People, beware long absences fr. Felo-ship
  • Stay close to the Lord, Daily meet with Him, to hear, to listen


Notice 3rd) Vs.10, The Servant-Shepherd Leads His Flock

  • In the Eastern tradition, shepherds lead from the front
  • They who know the road lead, by going before us
  • Christ not only knows the way home, He knows the manner which we must walk-live in obedience to God, trusting in God
  • If Leadership is anything it is Influence, The greatest Influence is a good example set for others to follow.
  • Poorer leaders lead only by instruction: “do as I say…”
  • But Great leaders lead by Example: “Do as I say and as I Do”
  • Psalm 23:3–4, He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me
  • He doesn’t send us on ahead, He steps in beside to walk with us
  • Christ is the Greatest Leader becoz He first set the example of a Life of Righteousness, living it despite great temptation,
  • He lived it in perf. obedience… He Lived it for all to see,
  • He Lived it to fullest extent, obeying all the Way to the cross.
  • Christ is also the Merciful and Compassionate Leader, who walks thru the valley of the shadow of death (dk.plces) with us
  • 31:9 is a parallel passage to vs.10, “They shall come with weeping, And with supplications, I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn 30mins
  • In John 10:3–4 The sheep hear (Christ’s) voice; and He calls his own sheep by name & He Leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, He Goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
  • Christ is: Great Leader, – are we Following His Example?
  • Christ is: Great Leader – do we Know by Experience His Voice?
    • are we Listening for His Voice, Thru: Word, By: Spirit?
  • Christ is: Great Leader – are we Trusting His Leadership, so that when the way becomes difficult (it will) we still follow
  • I’ve heard great and lengthy criticism about poor leadership…
  • But, Bros & sisters, How good is our Follow-ship? Our Obedience to His Leading, Our willingness to be Lead….


Notice 4-thly) The Servant-Shepherd Refreshes His Flock

  • 10, Even by the springs of water He will guide them.
  • We remember 15, Lord Israel to Elim, 12 springs of water, 70 Palms: they ate & they drank & they were refreshed
  • The Journey of Following Christ thru this life can be Draining
  • Living/Work. in Anti-Christian world can be Draining…
  • Living among thieves/wolves, who would rob us of joy – Draining
  • Ministry for the Lord can be… it often is, Draining…
  • Constant outflow w/o necessary replenishment, Drains us Dry…
  • We all need those reg. moments of being Refreshed in the Lord
  • John 7:37, Jesus stood & cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me & drink. – He is the Water of Life
  • In John 4:13, Jesus said to Samaritan Woman, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst….”
  • Jesus, Our Lord & Shepherd, has Mercy & Compass’n on: sheep
  • He, being: Wise, Loving Shepherd, knows when we need to be refreshed…. in Him, to drink of: Water of Life flowing fr Him
  • Paul, write to , vs. 20, asks: Refresh (my) Heart in Christ
  • Bro/Sis, Find Opp. to Come alongside ea. other to share a quiet word, few vss., a brief prayer… to refresh ea. other in Christ
  • If u sense that leading of the Spirit, be willing to take moment & refresh your bro-sis, send a text, Call on Phone send a card
  • Bro/Sis, B: cup: holds water for Christ to refresh ea. other


5th) The Servant-Shepherd Removes Obstacles From Our Path

  • Notice 11, the Lord says I will make each of My mountains a road, And My highways shall be elevated…

In our Salvation, there were so many Obstacles to be Overcome

  • Christ had to lay aside the glories of heaven, to be born: man
  • Christ had to become a servant & live in the likeness of men
  • Christ, who knew no sin, had to be made sin for us
  • Christ had to endure the horror, shame & pain of the cross
  • Christ had to endure separation fr His Father for 3 long hrs.
  • Christ had to suffer, die and rise again to accomplish Salvat.
  • Christ, being God Almighty, overcame those Obstacles…

Christ our shepherd also overcame: Our obstacles to Faith & Salv.

  • Obstacles fr Satan, unwilling to lose subject of His K-dom
  • Obstacles fr ungodly men who opposed the preach of Gospel
  • Obstacles fr us, ourselves had to be Overcome, by Christ
    • Our state of deadness, darkness & hardness of heart
    • Our state of corrupt natures, and strong sinful habits
    • Our own Self-righteousness had to be overcome
    • Our defiant, stubborn refusal to submit to God, O-come
  • Just as surely as God can level Mountains & Raise up Roadways into Highways, So Christ our Good Shepherd Overcame these obstacles to our coming to faith in Christ….
  • He will also overcome the Obstacles to Others coming to Faith
  • He will accomplish the Salvation of All His Elect people…
  • Do not despair Christian, as you pray for that loved one, that friend, that family member, that work colleague or neighbour
  • Christ Our Good Shepherd will overcome: obstacles to Save…

But, Wait there’s even more!

  • Christ also overcomes the Obstacles of Our Journey Home
  • Christ will Overcome our Obstacles of Fear & Doubt & Worry, of Besetting, Sinful Habits, of seeming slowness of growth…
  • Christ, Our Faithful, Glorious, Humble, Shepherd, Lord & King, will overcome and He will see us all gathered Home to Glory…
  • Brothers and Sisters, what a Great Servant Shepherd, we have, whom we’ve been called to Follow, all the way Home!
  • Follow Him, Bro-Sis, Fix your eyes firmly on Him and Follow!

1) Follow Him, Feeding on Him and His Word

Follow Him, onto: Desolate Hts, and Wild-ness places, knowing

there, the sweet intimacy of the Shepherd & Lover of your soul…

2) Follow Him, Closely, under the Lord’s Arm of Protection, knowing that he will not let you to be taken from His Hand

3) Follow His Leadership, Submitting and Imitating His Example

4) Follow Him, Drinking Deeply of Refreshing Water of Life: Christ

5) Follow Him, Knowing He has removed every Obstacle to our Salvat’n

Follow Him, Knowing that at the Last Great Day He will finally gather all God’s People, to Himself

Closing Prayer:


Benediction: 1 Thessalonians 5:23

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.