The first time I heard this song, I only heard parts of it and I thought the line “leaves the ninety-nine” was weird and out of place in a song about God’s love. I hadn’t heard the whole song so I was confused as to why God would leave the ninety-nine because doesn’t he want us to find souls. It was about three or four weeks before I actually got to hear the whole song and I instantly went “Oh, I get it now.” The course goes “Oh the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.” There is a parable in Luke 15, where Jesus talks about how the shepherd left ninety-nine sheep so he could go and find the one that was lost.
In Luke 15:4-7 Jesus said “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? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 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!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”
God is willing to leave the ninety-nine in order to find us, who want or need to know Him and to be loved by Him.
The chorus goes on to say “I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, Still, You give yourself away, Oh the overwhelming, Never ending, Reckless love of God.” We can’t earn the love that God has for us and we certainly don’t deserve it, but God still gives us His love.
One of my favorite verses is “There’s no shadow, You won’t light up, Mountain you won’t climb up, Coming after me, There’s no wall, You won’t kick down, Lie you won’t tear down, Coming after me.” God will light up any shadow that tries to cover us. He will climb any mountain to get to us. He will even knock down walls and tear down lies that try to hold us back or destroy us. There is no one else in this world who loves us that much.
Just remember you are the one sheep that God left the ninety-nine behind to find. God loves you more than you deserve, but he still loves you.