The similarities I'm about to show you will either fascinate you, freak you out (in a good way), or just plain make you think more.
I stumbled across this while preparing for a teaching a couple of weeks ago. It all started with a simple story of a sheep named Shrek who wandered away from his shepherd and got lost in a cave for 6 years. Hence this photo of what happened to him as he gained over 60 pounds of fleece due to the fact that he left his caretaker, the shepherd. This had a huge impact on not just his mobility, but his breathing.
Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than 500 times, more than any other animal. It is also used to symbolically refer to God's people.
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me. (John 10:27)
The Bible describes close relationships between shepherds and their flock. The sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd, follow him and are protected by him. So when you look at this picture of Shrek the Sheep and see what happened to him just by leaving his shepherd, well, it's not so hard to get the message,right?
What I found so interesting within my lesson planning was the similarities between the animal and man. The characteristics are so uncanny that it really makes you think more about how true the Bible is, and how great and important God is as our Shepherd..
To decipher between sheep the animal and sheep as man, I will use bold print when describing sheep as animal, and italics for us as sheep of the Great Shepherd.
Sheep- are best known for their strong flocking and following instinct. They will run from what frightens them and band together in large groups for protection.
Sheep- I kind of liken this to us banding together in worship on Sundays. Not just for protection but to strengthen us, as we do battle with the enemy throughout our week.
Sheep- have an amazing tolerance for pain. They do not show pain otherwise they will be vulnerable to predators.
Sheep- When we put on the Armor of God each day, we will have an amazing tolerance for not just pain, but anything the enemy may throw our way.
Sheep- at birth, lambs are conditioned to follow the older members of the flock. This instinct is hard-wired into sheep. It's not something they think about.
Sheep- as new born babes in Christ we are to follow the lead of the older members of the flock (church) we belong to, for within them comes wisdom.
Sheep- they are of a gregarious nature, meaning they love to be with the herd.
Sheep- we as followers of Christ must love to dwell in the house of the Lord with the other members of our flock.
Sheep- must have a leader (shepherd) and must be told what to do and where to go, otherwise they'll wander off and get lost.
Sheep- we are taught to follow after the Great Shepherd (Christ) and we know that there are consequences when we do wander away from our Shepherd. We become lost, an easy target for the enemy, and are out of our safety net of protection.
Sheep- constantly need fresh water, fresh pasture, and the best water source for them is early morning dew.
Sheep- we constantly need to be refreshed with the Word of God and His Spirit. Our best source is starting our mornings in prayer and worship. We always need that refreshing Spirit.
But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)
So glad I am a sheep in the flock of the Great Shepherd.
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