Won’t he leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?
Luke 15:4b NLT
One of Satan’s most effective lies is the one he told Eve in the Garden. It worked then and it has worked ever since. The lie is that God really does not care about us, but rather that he cares about himself and his position; so he’ll use us any way he likes to accomplish his selfish purposes. Now Satan may really believe that since that is his character. He may really believe that nobody could actually be motivated strictly by unselfish love.
But whatever the reason, it is a lie. God does not care about himself; he cares for you and me. There is no more effective presentation of that truth than in Jesus’ three “lost” parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost boy. Since the Pharisees were angry that Jesus was associating with sinners, he took the opportunity to talk about the character of God.
Having grown up on a farm where we raised sheep, I have a particular fondness for the lost sheep parable. Ninety-nine of the sheep are back in the fold at the end of the day. Who cares about just one, particularly one, as I like to think, that was prone to wandering off and getting lost? Night is coming on; there are brambles and rocks, and maybe worse, out there in the dark. Let it go! Ah, no, not our Shepherd. He doesn’t care about bruises and scrapes and devouring wolves. He cares about that one sheep, paralyzed with fear, lost. As the Shepherd stumbles through the dark, is he thinking about what he will do to that sheep when he finds it? Oh, no. When he does find it, he doesn’t even make it walk home in front of him. He lays it across his shoulders and carries it. And when he reaches the village, he wakes up everybody to party with him. Over one stupid sheep!
That’s our God. Don’t believe Satan’s lies; God is for you. He is on your side, sympathizing when you cry, grieving when you hurt, laughing delightedly when you succeed. He doesn’t care about himself; he cares for you. Believe it.