Good Shepherd – Dumb Sheep

Good Shepherd – Dumb Sheep

I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day.Ezekiel 34:12

Isaiah 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

 11 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.
 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.
 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD.
 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak . . .

The Scriptures often compare people to sheep. They are in drastic need of a shepherd. For centuries, sheep have been considered dumb if not just plain stupid. But a paradigm shift is underway regarding sheep intelligence.

Due to their strong flocking instinct and failure to act independently of one another, sheep have been universally branded “stupid.” But sheep are not stupid. Their only protection from predators is to band together and follow the sheep in front of them.

There is a growing body of evidence that sheep may be smarter than we think.

According to researchers in Australia, sheep can learn and remember. Researchers have developed a complex maze test to measure intelligence and learning in sheep, similar to those used for rats and mice. Using the maze, researchers have concluded that sheep have excellent spatial memory and are able to learn and improve their performance. And they can retain this information for a six-week period.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge discovered that sheep have brain power to equal rodents, monkeys, and in some tests, humans. They discovered sheep “intelligence” while researching Huntington’s disease.

The scientists put sheep through a set of challenges often given to humans suffering from Huntington’s. The sheep showed that they had advanced learning capabilities, as they were able to navigate the challenges in the same way as humans and primates (http://www.sheep101.info/stupidsheep.html).

Sheep need a shepherd who lovingly cares for them. The prophet Ezekiel condemned the leaders of Israel at that time as bad shepherds. Israel’s leaders had exploited them and failed to protect and cherish them.

But promises were made about a future good and wonderful shepherd. God himself would be their shepherd and promised to rescue them.

Ezekiel 34:12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day. –

Isaiah 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.

Promise made!

REFLECT & PRAY

God is greater than anything on earth (Isaiah 40:12–20) or anything in heaven (Isaiah 40: 21–26). Creation shows His wisdom, power, and immensity. He is greater than the nations and their gods. He founded the earth and sits on the throne of heaven, and nothing is equal to our God, let alone greater than our God (Wiersbe).

Father thank You that You are a great loving and caring shepherd. Thank you that you sent the Good Shepherd to sacrifice His life that we might have eternal life and experience the loving care of a tenderhearted Shepherd forever.

INSIGHT

Promise fulfilled!

John 10:11-15

 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,

 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

But there’s more.

John 10:27-29

 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

 29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Who gave the Lord Jesus Christ the sheep that belong to Him? The Father, long before the world existed. From among all of the people that would ever be born, a flock of people were chosen to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Before the sheep hear and respond to their Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ’s voice, He says they already “My sheep.”

The Greek language has several past tenses. One of them is called the perfect tense. The perfect tense is used to describe an action which occurs in the past at a single point in time with continuing results into the future.

Point action in the past            · |

                                            └─────────  Continues into the future

My Father, who has given them to me (John 10:29). The Greek verb translated perfect is dedoken which comes from the Greek verb didomi. Here the Greek verb dedoken  has the sense that the Father has given sheep to the Lord Jesus Christ at some point in the past and they continue to be His sheep into the future.

We belong to the Lord Jesus Christ because the Father has given us to Him.

Before the sheep hear and respond to their Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ’s voice, He said they already “My sheep.”

You are already His sheep before He calls you. And when His sheep hear His voice they come and follow Him. Your identity as His sheep is actualized. At that very moment in time, the Lord Jesus Christ gives each of His sheep eternal life. Eternal life lasts forever. It begins at the moment of faith. Every child of the King has eternal life right now. They do not have to wait for death.

But there’s even more. Because the Father is greater than all, no one can snatch one sheep out  of His hand. Each sheep is safe. He will feed and carry His sheep in His arms, holding them close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11).

Jesus promised three things.

(1) He promised eternal life. He promised that if they accepted him as Master and Lord, if they became members of his flock, all the littleness of earthly life would be gone and they would know the splendor and the magnificence of the life of God.

(2) He promised a life that would know no end.

(3) He promised a life that was secure. Nothing could snatch them from his hand. This would not mean that they would be saved from sorrow, from suffering and from death; but [in] . . . the darkest hour they would still be conscious of the everlasting arms underneath and about them. Even in a world crashing to disaster, they would know the serenity of God (Barclay).

2 thoughts on “Good Shepherd – Dumb Sheep

  1. Interesting observation. I’d not heard of the bellwether sheep until reading the article you mentioned.
    I did note that there tend to be “alpha” sheep of both sexes that tend to be leaders which the other sheep tend to follow. Thank you

    Like

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