Have you ever considered how humans are like sheep? The Bible makes this comparison many times, with Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Well, I started reading a novella by Francine Rivers, called The Prophet, about the shepherd turned prophet, Amos. I remember very little about Amos, so as always, these novellas written by Francine has prompted me to read the story from the Bible for myself. Anyway, there are some beautiful pictures of sheep and shepherds written in this book, and I want to share one or two with you. There is a mother sheep, a dam, and her twin lambs that had wandered away from the fold. "The foolish dam remianed intent upon having her own way. Rather than stay in the green pastures to which he led her, she continued to choose brambles and brush." Wolves were coming to attack, and Amos used his sling shot to wound them, kill them and frighten them away. They circle the sheep, and "The dam did not move, frozen in fear, while her helpless lambs bleated in confusion and fear." After the wolves fled, "The lamb lay still. Amos lifted it tenderly, examining it. No wounds, but it was limp in his arms. Shock and fear had killed it. He sighed heavily. How many times had this dam led others into danger? How many times had he rescued her, only to have to hunt her down again? He cared deeply for all his sheep, even this dam who habitually caused trouble. But he could not allow her to go on leading others into the jaws of predators." (p. 1,2)
Wow!! Isn't that tragically beautiful? Christ, the Good Shepherd, loves us so much, and allows us to wander away into trouble. He faithfully and lovingly pulls us back from danger, but how often do we learn the lesson? How often are we leading others astray? He sometimes has to take drastic measures to protect the flock from such dangerous members of the flock. It's difficult to punish one that He loves so deeply, but he cannot allow such behavior to continue.