Monday, April 27, 2020

Why I Love Sheep

My daughter has four goats and a rabbit. I have two sheep. My husband has numerous ducks, pheasants, and quail. I won't even begin trying to explain why I think that sheep are better than all of those birds, but I would like to share with you my reasons for loving, and wanting, sheep rather than goats.

Sheep and goats are both mentioned often in the Bible. The goats tend to get a bad rap and maybe that's because they are so mischievous. The goats in our household can take flying leaps and get out of their stall in the barn - and that stall has fencing and a gate that is five feet tall! Now, I'm not talking about standard sized goats but rather little ones, La Mancha and Nigerian Dwarf goats. Both of these are very small and look like babies all of the time. Dottie especially jumps very high. She gets out of the pen and then jumps up on whatever she can to reach the shelving in the barn on which she struts her stuff and makes fun of the other goats who aren't quite as agile as she is.

Like sheep, goats in the Bible are mentioned often as being used for food. They chew the cud and have split hooves, so they are a clean animal (kosher). We have not eaten goat and I have no idea what it tastes like. I can assure you that my daughter will never eat them. She doesn't eat rabbit either.

Sheep can be super loving. I know my girls are. When I try to pet the goats, they wiggle until they can escape and get into mayhem. The sheep, on the other hand, stand still and allow me to pet away. If I stop, one of them will either nibble gently on my hand or even head butt me to get my attention. They appear to crave a loving touch.

Matthew 25:31 says that when Jesus judges the nations, He will separate the goats from the sheep. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Jesus Himself is seated at the right hand of God. There are MANY verses attesting to that. You can find references to them on this page. In Biblical days, sitting at the right hand of someone very important and influential was the best thing ever. The sheep (believers in Jesus) get that honor.

Believers are called sheep many times in the Bible. Ever wonder why? I think it's because sheep are vulnerable and, most times, very trusting. They go with the shepherd but sometimes they wander off and can't seem to find their way back home. In that respect, I think they are oblivious to the dangers of the world.

The Bible says that Jesus (the ultimate shepherd) will leave 99 sheep in order to go find and bring back the one who is lost. (Matthew 18:12, Luke 15:4) Sheep are vulnerable to wolves and other predators. Up here in the north, we have wolves, coyotes, and bears. There have also been cougar sightings. My sheep could find themselves in danger if I don't provide adequate protection for them.

Which leaves me to feel a bit overwhelmed all of a sudden. What if I lay down on the job and just once, one little time, I let my guard down and one of those predators takes one of the sheep?

Yikes! I am so very thankful that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, never lets down His guard. He will never lead us down the wrong path and neither will he allow Satan to devour us. When we, like sheep, put our faith and trust in Him, He does His part and keeps us safe (our souls).

I don't know about you, but that's comforting to me.

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