Scripture talks alot about sheep and goats. I raise both on our farm. They are as different from each other as night and day. This is surprising, since they often are mistaken for each other, particularly by the untrained eye. Our sheep are rather wild. They do their thing, eating, chewing their cud, making lambs, etc. with little input from us. They take care of themselves. This is great, except for a little thing called parasites. The sheep get infected with parasites, and left unchecked, that little tiny organism can take down and kill a 100lb sheep. We do our best to provide preventive care. We have very effective treatment that would keep those pesky worms at bay. The problem is that the sheep don’t understand we are trying to help them. They run in circles, leap into fences, and avoid capture at any cost. We literally have to round them up and tackle them to give treatment. When we try to feed them medicine in the grain, they run the other way, and the goats eat it. As a result we lose sheep to worms despite our best efforts.
Goats are a bit different. They seem to come out of the womb friendly. Goats seem to prefer the company of people. With very little training, they will come when you call their name, and love to be petted. Obviously, they are easy to medicate, and will steal the grain right out of your hand. One of my milkers, Kiwi, likes to chew on the corner of my shirt. She followed me around the pasture while I chased a sheep that needed treated. Goats are also rather clever and mischievious, and can get in and out of places at will. On the flip side they always come home.
So how do my observations fit in with scripture? Here are my thoughts, not doctrines, just thoughts. We are most often compared to sheep. I think if we actually behaved like goats and followed our master around and took our medicine and craved a good petting, we wouldn’t be in such desperate need of a shepherd. We often act wild and try to do things our own way. The Good Shepherd has to chase us around the pasture, tackle us, and shove our medicine down our throats. If He didn’t, we would surely die in our stupidity. But Yahshua did say that He came to save sinners, not righteous. We walk around the pasture, thinking we are in great shape, but we don’t know about the little tiny worms (sin) that threaten our very existence. But when the Good Shepherd tries to help us with those worms, we run the other way. Yet He patiently leads us and cares for us in spite of ourselves.
Perhaps we should make things easier for ourselves and start behaving like goats. We need to run to our Shepherd, take our medicine, and crave the attention our Shepherd willingly gives. To put it in plainer terms, we need to face our sins, accept our Savior’s help, and delight in His presence.
Will you say baaaaaa like a sheep, or will you say maaaaaa like a goat?
Thanks Heidi for a really interesting read! I've never thought about the sheep and goats analogy quite like that before. I always enjoy reading your thoughts on life and the Scriptures.
Interesting analogy Heidi! Def food for thought for me.
Hope you are all doing well!! And shabbat shalom 🙂
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