Most people are under the impression that the words “sheep” and “stupid” are synonymous. If you’re one of those people, then ask yourself this question: if sheep really are stupid, what does that say about us—considering the many comparisons between sheep and men in the Bible? And even more importantly, what does that say about God?
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Therefore, since we are created in the image of God (as the Bible says we are), and are called the “sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3), I think I can say with a fair amount of certainty that God takes offense when sheep are viewed so unflatteringly—and falsely. More accurately, the appropriate words to describe sheep are trusting and dependent. They recognize their shepherd and trust that he/she has their best interest at heart. Unlike many animals that are continually on the move in order to find food, sheep are content to wait on the shepherd to supply their needs.
Another characteristic of sheep, which proves their trusting nature, is the fact that sheep are born followers. Where one goes, they all go. This attribute of their character comes in handy when moving and working the flock. But it is also my job as their shepherd to be ready to step in and change their course if who or what they are following is headed for danger.
Are you beginning to see the connection between man and sheep? Can you think of a word that comes to mind to describe this connection? Let me help you out: character.
That’s the word we need. Or at least it should be. The sheep’s instinctive character to be dependent, trusting, and to follow without hesitation are exactly the character traits God desires us to have in our relationship with him. It is God’s desire that we know he has our best interest at heart, for us to be content to depend on him to supply our needs instead of depending on worldly pleasures to provide a false sense of security and satisfaction, and for our faith in him to be strong enough to keep us focused on his design for our life.
So, you see, sheep aren’t so baaad (sorry, I couldn’t resist). As a matter of fact, they’re just what the Good Shepherd is looking for.
Be salt and light,
Today’s blog is an excerpt from “Through the Eyes of a Shepherd”, by Darla Noble