Of Sheep and Men

Sheep are mentioned more than 500 times in Scripture, which is significantly more than any other animal. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, sheep are the favorite analogy in describing people and their relationship with the Father in heaven. We are sheep. While being sheep of our Lord’s flock is a blessing, it isn’t much of a compliment, I am afraid!

But maybe it is; let’s see and have a closer look.

There are quite some negative traits that can be pointed out about sheep:

    1. Sheep of all domestic animals require the most care and supervision. Left to themselves, sheep have an unlimited capacity for getting into trouble.
    2. Sheep are compelled by mob instinct. Sheep take their queues from each other. If one sheep panics, they all panic. They tend to go with the flow, even if the flow is going in the wrong direction. They have a tendency to wander off. Sheep are forever getting lost.
    3. Sheep are very susceptible to fear. The average sheep is a coward. One loud noise of any kind – it doesn’t have to be the howl of a wolf – sends the flock in every direction. When confronted with danger, sheep panic.
    4. Sheep are very destructive. Sheep have the very bad habit of being very hard on the pasture. When they graze they don’t trim the grass they eat. They bite down and pull up, removing the roots, and not only the stems.
    5. Sheep are very vulnerable to predators. Among animals, sheep are wimps. They are weak, slow, stupid and defenseless.
    6. Sheep have an incredible ability to get dirty. They easily turn every shade of gray and brown imaginable. Sheep get dirty and stay that way until somebody cleans them up.

Whether we like it or not, we are in many ways like sheep.

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