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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : The voice of the Shepherd

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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 19 Jan 2014

Gen 24

1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:

3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD

When Abraham said to the servent, "I'll send you to my people", he was referring to those that believed in the Lord and feared Him. Believers must marry believers. We're not referring to interfamily marriage, but marriage between those who believe in the Lord and fear His Name.

The servent didn't object and say, "I don't know if it's going to work out", and had other excuses but he simply obeyed and went, trusting God to lead him.

When he got to that country the camels were thirsty. The servant prayed that God would lead him and so he asked for a sign like Gideon did. These partriachs of old could pray and God answered them. They lived by the will of God. If you live by your own will you will die, but if you live by the will of God you will live.

He prayed that the girl that would offer to draw for all his camels when he asked for some water, that she would be the one.

A camel can drink gallons of water, maybe 100-200 liters!

He then observed her while she gave them water if she would actually do what she promised, for many promise but then fail in the doing thereof.

When he asked her after her family she mentioned the exact family he had been looking for, relatives of Abraham and believers!

Do you see these men of God, the patriarchs of old, walking with God daily.

Gideon, when the angel spoke to him, still prayed for a sign to see if the angel was truly from God.

Jesus said, 'my sheep hear My voice' (John 10:27).

When the first couples married while we were still at Maphumulo, we asked a Lutheran minister to give the marriage certificates. But he dragged his feet a bit. One Sunday I had to pass close by his home and felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go and ask if the certifacte was ready. At first I didn't want to go for he should not have been at home, it being Sunday close to his service time. Yet I obeyed and I still went. I found him and he was busy packing for he was transferred to another congregation. He was surprised to see me as if I knew he was leaving that day. He quickly got the certificate ready and I rejoiced that I could listen to the Holy Spirit.

I once listened to a preacher in Switzerland who was giving his first sermon. He related how that he and other preachers had visited shepherds in the Middle East who were still shepherding their sheep in the same ancient way that their forefathers had done. All the sheep were together in a pen for the night. The next morning the shepherds would each go the entrance of the pen and each call their sheep. Only their sheep responded and came out of the flock. Each shepherd would brush over his hand over each sheep as it passed to see that it was still healthy. Among the preachers there was one who could imitate exactly someone else's voice. He asked one shepherd to teach him how he called the sheep and which words he used. He also put on the jacket and hat of the shepherd. Though he called the sheep with the same intonation and clothing not a single sheep stirred. He tried and tried but failed. The shepherd then called and immediately his responded and came to him.

Why? Sheep are wiser than people! The sheep listen to their shepherd’s voice but many Christians fail to hear the voice of their Shepherd and listen to other voices instead!

In Russia, I once came upon a shepherd walking with hundreds of his sheep. I asked him if I could take a photograph. He didn't want to stop. I ran in front and took a picture and went to talk with him. He then shared with me how he was with his sheep day and night. Not once had he taken a holiday. He said that he also knew his sheep individually. So the sheep know their shepherd and the shepherd knows his sheep.

That's how we should know our Lord. We must know the voice of the Lord.

That's how we should know our Lord. We must learn the voice of the Lord. And He knows each of us individually.

During the early days of the revival, uncle Erlo told uncle Waldemar that he would visit him but that he would phone him first. But the phone was out of order that day. On the plane he decided to phone him as soon as he arrived in Johannesburg. As he walked into the arrival hall, there uncle Waldemar was waiting already! He explained that he was working in his garden and heard the Lord telling him to meet uncle Erlo at the airport. They had wonderful times with the pastors in Johannesburg. As he left he told uncle Waldemar that in the future he will try to phone before he comes.

At another time uncle Erlo had to go to Johannesburg again and again he tried to phone but failed again. Again uncle Waldemar was there as he got off the plane, but a few minutes late. He explained that he again heard the Lord instructing him to go but he first finished what he was busy with and those were the few minutes he was late.

It would be terrible if you think you hear God's voice but it's the voice of satan.

Learn to walk with God. Pray God to teach you His voice.

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