When Sheep Fall and Can’t Get Up

(I Have Fallen and I Can’t Get Up! – Part 1)

SERIES: PIT People

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR JULY 22-28, 2020

AIM: After studying this lesson students can see why we are like sheep.  We fall down and we need a good shepherd to put us back on our feet.  This lesson will challenge us during this time of isolation to keep up with “sheep” that may have fallen into a pit!

Pit was defined in a previous lesson as. . .

  • a literal or figurative reference to the grave or to an abyss so deep that the dweller felt like they were the living dead.
  • an attitude of mind and heart producing a melancholy frame that is buried in hopelessness. 
  • it is a sense of dejection and gloom. 

But when we are in a pit there is someone who will lift us up and out! 

Psalm 23:1-3 KJV – 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

  1. The Sheep
  2. Characteristics of sheep
  3. Timid, fearful, easily panicked
  4. Dumb, stupid, gullible
  5. Very vulnerable to fear, frustration, pest and hunger
  6. Little or no means of self-defense, can only run
  7. Easily killed by enemies
  8. Jealous, competitive for dominance
  9. The shepherd is the most effective, calming influence
  10. Can’t find its way back home if lost

Psalm 100:3 KJV – Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Point to Ponder: Sheep ae notorious creatures of habit.  It left to themselves, they will follow the same trail until they become ruts; graze the same hills until they turn to desert wastes; pollute their own ground unit it is corrupt with disease and parasites.  Who does this sound like to you?  How have we done the same thing?

  • Cast down  
  • An old English shepherd’s term for a sheep that has turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself.
  • How does a sheep become cast down?
  • They look for a soft spot to lay down.
  • Too much wool.
  • Too fat

Point to Ponder:  What knocks us off our feet?  What causes us to be cast down?    

  • Causes
  • Doubt
  • Doctor’s report 
  • Divorce
  • Death

Psalm 42:11 (ESV) – Why are you cast down, O my soul,  and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:11 (MSG) –Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.

  1. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/assets_c/2010/11/lonely-person-thumb-300x240-27530.jpgThe Shepherd
  2. Characteristics of The Shepherd
  3. Patient with his sheep
  4. Knows his sheep
  5. Values his sheep
  6. Loves his sheep
  7. Observes the sheep
  8. Feeds the sheep
  9. Leads the sheep
  10. Speaks well of his sheep
  11. Pursues his sheep
  12. Rests his sheep

Isaiah 40:11 KJV – He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

John 10 NLT – 1 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Point to Ponder: Are you a shepherd? Yes (   )  No (   )  If “yes”, who are your sheep? What kind of shepherd are you?

Point to Ponder: What things might you do to become a better shepherd?

  • Concerned
  • Leaves
  • Looks

Point to Ponder: Who are the flock?  Do you have a flock?  If so, who are they?

Point to Ponder:  Have you looked for the “lost” sheep in your class?  In your family? In your home?

Point to Ponder: Some sheep have fallen into a pit. . .have we gone to look for them?

Point to Ponder: During this covid-19 season, how are you keeping up with your “flock?” Point to Ponder:  Have you been “feeding” them?  

Luke 15:4-6 (NKJV) – 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

Ezekiel 34:1-6 NLT 1 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? 3 You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. 4 You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. 5 So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. 6 They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.

  • Caring
  • Love
  • Life-alert
  • Looking
  • Lifting

John 10:11-16 (NKJV)11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

  1. The Hireling
  2. His motivation   Profit
  3. His means          Personal
  4. His methods      Prey
  5. The Shepherd
  6. His motivation   Love
  7. His means          Lead
  8. His methods      Look
  9. When Danger comes –
  10. Hireling              Flees
  11. Shepherd          Fights
  • Hireling              Leaves
  • Shepherd          Lifts
  • Hireling              Lax
  • Shepherd          Looking

Point to Ponder: Can you name some “hireling” that doesn’t care about the sheep?

Acts 20:28-30 (ESV) 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

Point to Ponder: What are some “fierce wolves” that can come in and destroy the “flock?” 

Point to Ponder: During this period of “isolation” how can we keep up with the flock?

Point to Ponder: How can you take care of yourself?

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                     Thank God that we have a loving God that cares for us, picks us up, and is concerned about us to the point that He sent his son to die for us.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:       Be willing to share the same love and concern shown to you by God for others having a pit experience by providing whatever Godly-inspired assistance you can towards them.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:            Share with others that God cares enough for us that we were picked up, fixed up and paid for with the life of Christ.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:            Ask for Godly direction as to how to give your way out of your pit; you’d be surprised what outcomes may result.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:            Even though you may be in a pit, make sure you reach out to God despite how you may have ended up in the pit; He is willing to aid you; He will carry you.

NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: What to do When I Have Fallen and Can’t Get up

SERIES:          PIT People

NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT:  Matthew 15:1; Psalm 35:7-8; Job 9:30-31; Isaiah 14:15; Luke 10:30-35; Joshua 6:26; Jonah 1:3; Luke 22:55; Psalm 1:1; John 10:10; Matthew 6:25-34;  Psalm 30:5; Genesis 2:16-17; Galatians 3:11; Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11; Luke 19:10

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