Baa Baa Black Sheep

Sam Sheepdog protects his flock from Ralph E. Wolf

When I think of sheep, I think of peaceful creatures, grazing nicely in the pasture. White ones, that is. Black ones jump around not so peacefully because they are rebels, in my head anyways. Remember Ralph E. Wolf trying to eat the sheep and Sam Sheepdog foiling every plan? “Count sheep! They will help you sleep!” Where did that come from anyways?

What I’m trying to say is that sheep generally seem sort of boring and weak. So why does the bible refer to sheep more than 500 times (besides the fact that it was an “industry” for the region back in the day)? And why did someone tell me that I should go and rest in a pasture with sheep (allegorically speaking)? And what is the singular form of sheep? Shep?

I came across a pretty good read by Thomas Watson entitled “The Good Shepherd”. He makes some relevant, I-never-thought-of-that points on who and what sheep are and how they are referenced in scripture.

Sheep are CHRIST’S PEOPLE: John 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me.

Sheep have CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS: The Bible describes close relationships between shepherds and their flocks. The sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd. They follow him (or her). The shepherd protects his flock and would give his life for them. John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Sheep are MEEK: If the shearer takes its wool, it does not resist. If you strike a sheep, it does not snarl or fly in your face. All Christ’s sheep are encouraged to be meek-spirited. Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Sheep are CLEAN: Sheep delight in pure streams and clean pastures. Just so, Christ’s sheep are clean and sanctified; holiness is the thing they pray for. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God!

Sheep are USEFUL: There is nothing about a sheep that is not of some use—the flesh, the fleece, the skin. God’s people are called to be profitable to others by their knowledge, counsel, example, prayers and good works. Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Sheep are CONTENT: Sheep will feed upon any pasture where you put them. Put sheep upon the bare common—and they are content. The theory is that when God puts His sheep into the pasture of His will, they are (or try to be) content. Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Sheep tend to WANDER: Sheep are apt to wander sometimes from their fold. It’s important to not go astray, or be lead away from God, or else you could be “caught” by someone like Ralph E. Wolf. Jeremiah 50:6 My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to have a close relationship with God, be meek, clean, useful, content and brought back into His fold if I tend to wander.

Baa! Baa!

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