Good Day to each of you reading this column on Sheep—Baaahh! I know that was poor, but I just could not resist.
Have you ever been to: Cahoots? Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in cahoots with someone.
Have you been to: in Sane? They don’t have an airport, you have to be driven. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family, and work.
Have you been to: in Cognito? I hear no one recognizes you.
Would you like to Conclusions? You have to jump, and I’m not much on physical activity anymore.
Have you been to: in Doubt? Such a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
Have you been: in Capable? I go there more often as I’m getting older.
And one of my favorite places is: in Suspense: It really gets the adrenalin going and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli that I can get!
Places I have been…. So laugh insanely, love truly, and forgive quickly! From one unstable person to another—Hope you enjoy!!
I would bet that many of you reading this column have a pet or certainly have had a pet—I have had several and I have enjoyed each of them with stories to tell, good times, bad times, and what they bring to each of us.
As for sheep, the only times I get close is when we go to the zoo and we get to pet the sheep—have you felt their white hair? The rams are the male sheep, the female sheep are the ewes and the immature are called lambs. Sheep regurgitate their food and chew their cud while grazing in flocks to help in protection from predators.
When doing research on sheep, I found the following from Kim Good in New Shepherds:
- Flocking Instincts – Sheep have a strong flocking instinct. They feel safer when gathered together. Sheep need other sheep to feel safe. Separating one sheep out from the rest of the flock is disturbing and frightening to them.
- Family Bonds – Sheep will stay in maternal groups for life. I often see family groups grazing and sleeping together in the field. One time, we had separated a set of twins (ram and ewe) at weaning time. They both remained on our farm but in different fields and paddocks. After two years of separation, we put the two siblings back in the same field. The ram immediately walked over to his sister and they stood nose to nose for 30 minutes. Clearly, they knew who each other was and were glad to be back together again.
- On the Move – Sheep will follow a leader. If you can get one sheep moving, then the rest will most likely follow. Leaders tend to be the most dominant sheep in the flock. Sheep will also follow someone they trust and know. Sheep are hesitant to move towards the dark or into an enclosed area. For instance, if you need to move them into the barn at night, turn on the barn light and they will more easily follow you in.
- Run! Sheep run when frightened. Quick movements, loud noises, and dogs will all put sheep on the run. When approaching sheep, it is best to move slowly and talk softly.
- I see ewe – As a prey animal, sheep rely heavily on their vision. With their eyes set on the sides of their heads, their field of vision is quite broad. They are constantly scanning the field as they graze. Understanding their line of vision allows you to catch a sheep much easier. when needed. When we need to catch a sheep, we will first put them all into a small pen. We approach the sheep from behind, out of their line of vision. This allows us to put an arm around their neck without their realizing it.
- You got me! Once you have caught a sheep, they will usually relax and give in to you if you have control over their head. By putting a hand under their chin and lifting their nose up a little in the air, they will usually relax. They also totally relax when placed on their bum, off their feet. These are two great positions to put them in when needing to do anything with them such as trimming hooves, giving shots, and shearing.
The more I read about sheep, the more comparisons I draw to people and their behaviorisms and characteristics. It is interesting to note that sheep, as a prey animal, have excellent senses to ensure their survival.
When looking at the word “sheep” in the New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance, one finds the above word mentioned 187 times and that the first time mentioned is in Genesis 4:2 where Abel was a keeper of sheep.
Sheep are first introduced in the Old Testament as sacrificial animals found in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. When you read Genesis 4 and wonder what type of garments Adam & Eve wore, in all probability, they were made from the wool of sheep.
Luke 2:8 says that Jesus birth was announced to shepherds in the fields attending to their sheep. So you see, the sheep were the first creatures to have the announcement of Jesus birth. They announced the Lamb of God to the shepherds and a field of sheep.
John 1:29 (NIV) says that John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,” the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! The significance is that Jesus or the Lamb would be led to the slaughter like a lamb to pay for the sins of the past, present and future. This perfect sacrifice is also mentioned as a triple witness in Isaiah 53:7 and I Peter 1:19.
Let us turn our attention to people known as the sheep or lost sheep of Israel and who are these people that the Bible speaks about—First, let me quote the following for you to ponder—Shocked by the Bible—Joe Kovacs—Chapter 26—Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not Jews. While most people think the Jews are the focus of the Old Testament, according to the Bible, they are not. This does not mean there are no Jews found in the Old Testament. There certainly are. But one of the most prevalent misconceptions about Scripture is that the Old Testament centers only on Jews and Judaism, while the New Testament focuses on Christians and Christianity.
The first time one sees the word Jews is found in 2 Kings 16:6 or twelve books later. Folks let’s break this down—the difference between the terms Israelite and Jew is more easily understood to the USA today. It’s fair to say that all legal citizens of Alabama are Americans, certainly not all Americans are Alabamans. There are forty-nine other states of which they could be citizens. I hope that makes sense. Turn to Ezekiel 34, where the shepherds and sheep of Israel are introduced as well as the shepherd’s leadership role, the shepherd’s judgement, and that the Lord would rescue the sheep and tend to the flock that the shepherd’s failed to do.
David, a man after God’s heart, says that the Israel people are God’s people and the sheep of your pasture, Psalms 79:13, and in Psalms 95:7… for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Finally in Psalms 100:3… Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
But who are the “lost sheep of Israel?” Jesus mentions “the lost sheep of Israel “ in Matthew 10:6 and in Matthew 15:24. The answer is found in John 10 where you will see the Jews are not the lost sheep. Yes, you heard me correctly—The Jews are not the lost sheep of Israel. Turn to John 10:24—30—The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles that I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand, I and my Father are one.”
Fellow Christian, we have been taught that the “Jews” were God’s chosen people, but this is not so—I have shown you there is a difference between a Jew and Israelite and that Jesus in John was speaking fellow Israelites who believed in him and were given eternal life and shall never perish.
It is my hope that we have Jewish brethren who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and that they believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and seen him. John 14:6,7.
Whether we have Jewish brethren in Israel, Russia, USA, England, and throughout the world, the Bible in its entirety both Old and Testament are 100% correct and that John 10:9 says I (Jesus) am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture.
Yes, all we like sheep have gone astray, but Jesus who is our shepherd will make sure that we find his pasture and are all accounted. I use Psalms 23 as an excellent example for the Shepherd and sheep.
As 2021 approaches, let us be in the pasture where our shepherd so carefully watches over us as we go in and out for Jesus loved each of us so much that he laid down his life for us (the defenseless sheep).
May God Bless you and May you Bless God in all that you do and say!