by Roger Oakland
Understand the Times
In the Bible, we see that God has chosen to represent humans as sheep. Why wouldn’t He have chosen some other animal? How about a donkey, a horse or a camel? If you know anything about the behavior of sheep you will understand. Humans are like sheep.
Some time ago I was sitting by a pond where some people were feeding ducks. I noticed there was one duck with a broken wing paddling to the side of the pond unable to compete with the others. One person noticed this poor duck was not getting a share of food and walked over to the edge of the pond and tossed pieces of bread so the duck was able to pick the food out of the water without moving. Instantaneously, the rest of the ducks moved over and started pecking at him. I couldn’t help but think – ducks are just like people.
In the Bible, the Lord has chosen to use sheep, not ducks, in order to illustrate human behavior. The reason of course is that Jesus is the good shepherd. Shepherds herd sheep, not ducks. As well, the sheep-shepherd relationship is an accurate way to illustrate the pastor-flock relationship. Shepherds lead, protect and watch out for danger from wolves and other predators. Sheep need a good shepherd in order to function properly.
Now, when we discuss the qualities of a good shepherd in relation to a church flock, we must be aware there are sheep that don’t think they need a shepherd. Sometimes sheep think they should be the shepherd. There are even cases when sheep can turn into wolves and attack the shepherd. There are many shepherds who have been hurt by the sheep because of things they have said and done.
As well, there is another thing about human behavior that is quite common in relation to the shepherd-sheep relationship. If the sheep don’t agree with their shepherd when he teaches them biblical principles that expose their fallen nature, they just leave the flock. They look around for another shepherd who will tell them things they want to hear and make them feel good. In the Bible this is called having one’s ears tickled.
The Bible states in the last days this is exactly how sheep will behave. They will not want to hear sound doctrine. They want to feel good, be told that they are good and continue in their sin.
This reminds me of a message I saw on Sunday morning TV by one of America’s most popular pastors. Nearly 20,000 people were gathered in a stadium. The pastor told them they were all good people. He then told them that there parents were good people – and their grand-parents were also very good. He suggested they all tell God how good they were, their parents, and their grand-parents. He said if they did, God would do good things for them. The stadium full of people erupted with applause.
Yes, ducks and sheep are like people, and people are like ducks and sheep. Now I know why my Dad told me the reason he was a farmer was because he came to the conclusion dealing with nature was much easier than dealing with human nature.
Thank God, in heaven, things will be better!
I am Roger Oakland. This has been a biblical perspective to help understand the times. (Click here for source site.)