2.10.2011

And We Think We're So Smart

The bible contains words of wisdom, encouragement, hope, comfort, but also humor.  I have been studying the book of John, and in chapter 10, Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep.  When you really think about being compared to sheep, know as the dumbest and neediest animal, it is sad, but true.

Insights on Sheep
from The God Who Cares and Knows You by Kay Arthur

1. The life of a sheep depends a lot on what kind of shepherd it has.  If the sheep has a mean or cruel 
    shepherd, it would probably suffer, and its life would be hard.  Or if the shepherd were lazy and
    didn't take care of the sheep it might be hungry or even starve!  But if the shepherd was gentle and
    brave and didn't think of himself first, then the sheep would go to be healthy, strong, content, and
    happy.

2.  More than any other kind of animal, sheep need attention and care.  The shepherd must protect the
     sheep from cougars, wolves, dogs, and thieves.  The shepherd must protect his sheep at all times
     of the day and night.

3.  Sheep are timid and fearful animals.  They get scared very easily, and this fear keeps them from
     doing many things that are good for them.

4.  Sheep are "mass-minded"--they have "mob instincts"--they will do what every other sheep is doing! 
     If one sheep gets scared and runs, all the others will run with it, whether or not they know why they
     are running.  They will also follow each other off a cliff and plummet to their death.

5.  Sheep are animals of habit.  They like to keep following the same trails over and over.  They will keep  
     grazing on the same land until they practically ruin the land--and they will eat bad grass.

6.  Sheep are known to be very stubborn animals.  They need the shepherd to guide them around.  They
     are also know to be very stupid, dumb animals.  They will sometimes just freeze if there is danger
     around.  Sometimes they won't even try to run for safety; they will panic and not even cry out.

7.  Sheep will not lie down and rest until they...are not afraid, get along with all the other sheep, do not
     have any flies or pests bothering them, or aren't hungry.

8.  Sheep will butt each other with their heads.  They also have a "butting order."  The oldest sheep
     usually has the highest position of power.  If a younger sheep is eating in a patch of grass the oldest
     one wants, he will butt the younger one out of the way.  The younger one will act just the same way
     to sheep younger than themselves.  But when the shepherd comes around, the sheep forget what
     they were fighting over, and they stop and behave themselves.

9.  A sheep has to have good land to feed on, or it will stay hungry.  If a sheep is hungry, it will stay on its  
     feet and constantly be searching for food to satisfy its hunger.  Sheep cannot sleep if they are hungry,
     and they are not much good to the owner if they stay in that condition.  They get nervous and upset
     very easily, and if they don't eat the right food, all sorts of things will bother them.

10.  Sheep are bothered by many different pests--all kinds of flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and other flying    
       insects.  Many of these insects will aim straight for the nose of the sheep.  If they get into the
       sheep's nose, they may lay eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the larvae will get into the passages of the
       nose and cause swelling and irritations and sometimes blindness.  The sheep will beat their heads
       against trees or rocks to try to get these pests to stop bothering them, and sometimes this may kill
       the sheep.  Other sheep will shake their heads for hours and hours.  Some will run until they just 
       drop from running so much.  The good shepherd puts oil on the sheep's head and around the nose
       to calm the sheep.  This makes Psalm 23:5 more applicable..."you anoint my head with oil."

11.  Sheep can become "cast down."  This means that they get turned over on their back and cannot
       get up again by themselves.  If the shepherd doesnt' come to the sheep quickly, the sheep may die.

12.  In the sheepfold--the place where the sheep sleep--the shepherd lies down in the opening or
       doorway to guard the sheep.  If thieves or predators try to get in and hurt the sheep, they have to
       cross over the shepherd--because he's the door.  John 10:2 says that "he who enters by the door is
       a shepherd of the sheep" and in verse 7, Jesus tells us that He is the door of the sheep and if anyone  
       enters through Him, he will be saved and will go our and find pasture.

"I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep...I am the Good Shepherd and I know My own and My own know Me.  I have other sheep which are not of this fold; I must being them also and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one Shepherd."  John 10:11,14 

David was a shepherd before he became a king, and he understood this
comparison better than anyone else.  
He penned Psalm 23, a familiar passage to many.  It means so much more when we understand our role compared to God.  
The LORD is my shepherd,
         I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
         He leads me beside quiet waters.
    He restores my soul;
         He guides me in the paths of righteousness
         For His name's sake.
    Even though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,
         I fear no evil, for You are with me;
         Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
         You have anointed my head with oil;
         My cup overflows.
    Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
         And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
  

So, the next time you think you are so smart, remember that we are really just dumb sheep in desparate need of a shepherd:)

9 comments:

  1. I love this teaching, I am going to share this one! Thank you for the post!

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  2. I found myself in this sheep profile. I also found I have the best shepherd, namely Jesus the shepherd of my soul. Thank-you for the article. You too are a good shepherd. Your reward is waiting at His coming. Behold I cometh in the clouds and my reward is with Me...

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  3. This is a great post. It has enhanced my study of the shepherd /sheep relationship. Also how strong the shepherd must be.

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  4. Thank you for following Him.

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  5. I don't see how you get off on this stuff Barias?

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  6. Is there any way to find a way to get a copy of the 2nd picture you used?
    I fell in love with it....and your blog about sheep....thanks for sharing

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  7. Thank you so much for posting this page! I have been studying sheep and shepherds in reference to God and us! This is such a blessing...

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  8. beautiful message of Psalm 23, God Bless! :)

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  9. Thank you for this post. It makes a lot of sense. You may enjoy this book. It has even more about this subject. https://www.amazon.com/Shepherd-Looks-Psalm-23/dp/0310274419.
    Sometimes sheep are really dumb and stubborn so from a shepherd’s perspective in the Psalm when it says he MAKES me lie down the shepherd really does need to make them. Sheep need different kinds of grasses at different times of the day to help them digest their food.   Sometimes the shepherd has to break its legs so that it can relearn the shepherd's voice. The Shepherd will then carry the sheep on his shoulders so it learns his voice.

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