We’re sheep, people

The other day, I was thinking about the fact that throughout Scripture people are referred to as sheep (ex: Matt. 25:32; Psalm 100:3). Why in the world are we referenced as sheep, pray tell? There are plenty of other animals, you know, like lions. Those would have been great to be known as! Tough, dangerous, king of the animal kingdom. Or horses. They’re beautiful! Agile, strong, fast. Seriously, why not another animal? Why sheep?

So I did a little searching on the internet and (gulp) it made a lot more sense. There was one article in particular that called out various characteristics of sheep that fit quite well into what people are like. It was all quite… humbling.

Take for instance the fact that sheep are easily panicked. Ring any bells? Most of us can work ourselves up into a frenzy if we’re not careful. Personally, I’ve been known to be awesome at that. Ahem. Praise God, the LORD has put in my life my children who serve as little sanctifiers (9 blessings to be exact) which have helped tremendously with this, but I still struggle (can you imagine the chaos if we flipped out about everything like our children do?). When I get scared or nervous about something, I frequently can feel myself wanting to step on the anxiety train as it steadily descends into full out panic. Those moments in my life are reminders to me of how weak I am, but how strong my God is when I turn to Him. Even when I need to surrender that anxiety (which is sin) to Him over, and over, and over again. He is not just strong, but good and gracious.

Another descriptor of sheep? Gullible. This reminded me of a vivid childhood memory. I honestly don’t have a lot of memories from when I was a kid, but for whatever reason, I distinctly remember this particular game my uncle taught us. He told us that we were going to be blindfolded, and we needed to walk from one side of the room to another, but that we would be led by his voice. There were going to be obstacles, but not to worry! He would guide us around them. Of course, all of the children in the room wanted to be first playing the game and lucky duck that I was, I got to go first. After being blindfolded, I remember my uncle yelling out, “Don’t step there! To the right!” and everyone roaring laughing as I tried to diligently follow directions, scrambling out of the way. I didn’t really understand, but everyone was laughing so I figured, we’re having a blast! The next person went to play the game, and my uncle proceeded to blindfold, and then guide that person across the floor with his voice, too. But to my utter shock and disbelief, there was nothing in front of the person. He was making up all the obstacles that were in their way since in reality, there was a clear floor. Thus, all the laughing. There we were, carefully taking steps since we were blindfolded, only to be made to look the fool since there was literally nothing there.

It honestly was a hysterical game, even after I found out we were all the butt of the joke, but the vision of us carefully walking around made-up large obstacles came back to me as I was thinking of how sheep, and people, can be so gullible and easily misled. Often we trust the voices in authority over our lives without question. Those voices come in all kinds of forms. Maybe it’s our parents. Maybe it’s a pastor. Maybe it’s a celebrity. Maybe it’s a beloved friend. We will never be experts in everything, therefore, we sometimes blindly follow people we think we can trust. That’s not to say we can’t trust all people in authority over us, but we also must be Bereans and question assertions that are made and opinions that are shared, especially when those assertions may be controversial or they don’t line-up with Scripture.

Right now, I’m personally struggling with the barrage of information we are on the receiving end of. Who do we believe? How do we know? I’m not even sure anymore. But one thing I do know is that the LORD is not a God of confusion and His voice can be trusted (technically 2 things, but you get my point). How do we know God’s voice? Well, I know this book that’s called, “The Word of God” (aka: the Bible). Usually, that’s the go-to place to hear what He has to say. Granted, there isn’t anything in there about what job you should take, or who you should vote for, or where to invest your money. But you can find the fundamentals of not only how to live or how to approach difficult decisions, but Who is this God we serve. That’s the most important question there is to answer. We will never know the entire big picture. It’s impossible. But we can know Who is sovereign, and we can learn to trust His will and His Word more and more. And He won’t allow us to play the fool for anyone’s entertainment. He can be trusted.

So yeah, the bad news is we’re not, figuratively speaking, part of a pride of lions or a herd of horses. We’re part of a flock of sheep who can be gullible and easily spooked. The quicker we acknowledge who we are and accept reality, the better. It’s similar to those who struggle with, for example, alcohol. The first step is to have that person recognize they are an alcoholic. No one can be helped if there is a refusal to say we need help. So we’re sheep (ugh), but we have a Shepherd we can trust Who will guide us wherever we go if we choose to listen to His voice. His Word repeatedly teaches us that. Our job is to listen to His voice and not get distracted by other voices that would like to lead us away to be controlled by others and potentially led astray from the One Who in reality, has our best interest in mind.

“I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10). Now that is truth. But will we believe Him? My fellow sheep, will we follow Him even when (and especially when) we can’t see?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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