“My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains; from mountain to hill they have gone, they have forgotten their fold. All who have found them have devoured them, and their enemies has said, ‘We are not guilty, because they have sinned against the LORD, the true pasture, the LORD, the hope of their ancestors.’ …. I will restore Israel to its pasture, and it shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead its hunger shall be satisfied. In those days and at that time, says the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and none shall be found; for I will pardon the remnant that I have spared.” Jeremiah 50:6-7, 19-20
Lost sheep become hunted sheep, those who initially led them astray as well as the hunters who kill will be punished. The remnant of the flock that survives will return to their original pasture, forgiven and redeemed to start over again. O God that I be a good leader who leads others to you; that when I come across those separated from you I help them return to you not dismiss them. Lord, help me always to remember that I too, was once lost, wandering astray from you, but am now found and back within your boundaries. Thanks be to God!