"Let my cry come before You, O Lord;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word...
"Let Your hand be ready to help me,
For I have chosen Your precepts.
"I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek Your servant,
for I do not forget Your commandments."
Okay, this is shepherd talk here. Remember the Psalmist was a shepherd himself. The little lost sheep is crying, bleating for help, crying to be delivered from the briars which have entrapped it. The lost sheep is desiring to be saved by the shepherd's outstretched hand, There is no hiding the fact that the sheep had gone astray, became lost, unable to save itself.
"I am the good shepherd;
the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."
"My people have become lost sheep...
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their resting place."
Oh, how it saddens me to see how lambs are lost
from our extended family's flock in only one or two generations.
As Adam Clarke says,
"I have heard them bleating when they have lost the flock;
and when answered by the others, instead of turning to the sound,
have gone on in the same direction in which they were straying,
their bleatings answered by the rest of the flock,
till they were out of hearing!"
Our hope is in Him who came to seek and to save those who were lost,
"And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing."
Then, the cry for help turns to praise.
"Let my lips utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.
Let my tongue sing of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness...
For I long for Your salvation, O Lord,
And Your law is my delight.
Let my soul live that it may praise You,
And Your ordinances help me."
(verses 171-172, 174-175)
Have you ever seen how fast two shakes of a lamb's tail is
when reunited with its ewe to nurse?
It is enough to stand and watch with laughter.
It's a joyfully lickity-split sign of satisfaction.
So should our lips be quick to praise our salvation,
our sustenance being His statutes, His Word,
His commandments, His law, His ordinances,
loyally loving our Good Shepherd.
In summary, Adam Clarke says,
"Though he had fallen,
the light of God continued to shine into his conscience...
The word of the Lord, applied by HIs Spirit, --
When he was slumbering, awakened him,
When he was dead, quickened him.
When he was in danger, preserved him.
When he was wounded, cured him.
When he was assailed by his foes,
armed and defended him.
And by this word he was nourished and supported.
It was ever well with the Psalmist,
and it is ever well with all the followers of God."