In “the wrong shepherd” Jefferson Vann shares how following the wrong shepherd can mean losing the chance at eternal life.
Psalm 49:13-15 (JDV)
Psalm 49:13 This is the way of those who are arrogant, and of their followers, who approve of their words. Selah
Psalm 49:14 Like sheep they are headed for Sheol; Death will shepherd them. Those still standing will rule over them in the morning, and their image will rot in Sheol, far from their lofty abode.
Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem me from the power of Sheol, because he will accept me. Selah
the wrong shepherd
We have been looking at this psalm over the past few days. Like Psalm 23, it uses shepherd and sheep imagery. But the Lord is not the shepherd, and the psalmist is not the sheep.
The sheep are the enemies of the psalmist. They are being led to Sheol by Death itself.
Sheol is the Old Testament Hebrew word for the state of being dead. The Bible describes Sheol as a dark, silent place where the dead sleep until the resurrection.
Everyone goes to Sheol, and the psalmist does not deny that. But he believes that he will be redeemed from its power. The only way to be redeemed from Sheol is resurrection.
Here again, we see hints of the gospel of a resurrection at the last day, in which the redeemed will be finally set free from death.
But that is not true of the wicked. They follow death as sheep following a shepherd all their lives. They too will be raised from Sheol by Christ, but they will not be redeemed from its power. Their fate is the second death, from which there is no resurrection.
Brother, make sure you follow the right shepherd. Sister, don’t follow the crowd. Broad is the path that leads to destruction, and many follow that path in this life. This life can be deceiving, because the first death is inevitable for everyone. But the power of Sheol has been conquered by our shepherd.
Lord, we choose to put our trust in you, and follow you to permanent life. Keep our feet from following the wrong shepherd.
For more about the two permanent destinies, see: