Friday, June 22, 2012

Sheep Know Their Shepherd

John10:27 (NIV)  "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

The Bible uses sheep to represent people in many places.  The first passage of scripture that comes to my mind is Psalm 23.  David, who was a shepherd himself and certainly knew about sheep, talks about the Lord as the Shepherd.  He relates how that everything the Lord does for the sheep is for their good.

Jesus' words in John 10 says that His sheep listen to His voice and follow Him.  It is interesting to know that sheep have an excellent memory.  They can remember as many as fifty faces for up to two years.  They have a keen recall of unpleasant experiences, too, so they would easily reject someone who has been cruel to them.  Another interesting fact about sheep is that they have an excellent sense of hearing.  This could be one reason Jesus assuredly compares His followers to sheep, their hearing is keen, they remember His face and they will not follow anyone who has treated them wrongly.

If we have experienced anything hurtful, it has been at the hands of man, not of the loving, caring Shepherd.  Sadly, we often attribute our hurtful experiences to God, blaming Him wrongfully for the actions of humans.  It would help if we would familiarize ourselves with the attributes and characteristics of the Lord, as David so wisely penned in Psalms, then we could more easily recognize our Great Shepherd.

Psalm 23 (NIV)  "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quite waters, he refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

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