I happen to delve a little closer on why God likened us to sheep. Of all the animals we could be likened to in the bible, it's the very silly sheep that was picked. Not a lion, with it's loud and proud, mighty roar. Not a stallion, swift and strong. Not even a bear, wise and fearless! "All we like sheep..." Ugh! I've heard only of notoriously silly stories about them. So I sought out online what it was to be like sheep and let me share to you what I found out about them. (And about us, really...)
SHEEP - our white, black or off-white wooly friends out on the field. They seem to be sweet, gentle animals that graze on hills of green all day long. Here are the distinguishing characteristics of these cuddly friends:
1- Sheep are docile in nature (meaning, easily controlled). Okay, it is convincingly true. We all are easily controlled. Like sheep, we tend to go where someone would lead us. We easily yield to whatever leading the world does to all of us. Whatever community raises up as a trend, we all fall for it - hook, line and sinker. We tend to absorb it eventually as a norm for us. Sadly, even the leading of Satan to sin is so much a part of our being docile.
2 - Sheep are highly timid. Timidity simply means they lack the confidence, the boldness, the conviction. The last definition probably is the strongest one to become the reason why we're likened to them. No conviction. Probably the very reason why we're easily controlled. Unless we encounter the Truth and allow it to change us, our innate nature (like sheep) would lead us to follow the world - just follow even if it means destruction in the end.
3 - Sheep exhibit strong flocking behavior. They tend to follow one another in just about everything. If a flock of sheep would see one stupid sheep jump off a cliff, (believe me it's in the news ) the rest of them follow. A sheep can't be isolated either because it would cause them anxiety! Hmmm... sounds so much like us, don't you think?
4 - Protection from predators is important. Okay, stupid question - Why? Because sheep can't "Baaa" a wolf away. They just don't have any fighting skills or something! I have yet to see a sheep attacking a wolf, instead of vice versa. Are we like this at all? Well... we are so like sheep huh? We need protection from a lot of predators out there, predators that don't tear on our flesh but on our spirit. We just can't fight them, we need protection from somebody stronger... somebody like a Shepherd.
5 - Sheep can get their heads and legs trapped in an inappropriate fence. Hahaha... this really humor me to the bones! Curiosity kills the cat? I'd say the sheep too, eventually! Aren't we like sheep, really? Where have you stuck your head into? Remember the many times you thought "Eeek! I shouldn't have done that." Well, there you go sheep... baaaa....
6 - Sheep may overeat, causing illness or even death. It's really getting so warm now. Look around you. Look at you and me... aren't we like sheep? Oh, we like sheep!
7 - Sheep are frightened by loud, sudden noises. That is why the handler should speak in a quite, calm voice. Do you know that sheep know the familiar voice of their handler? And like them, Jesus' quite and calm voice speaking into our hearts will become familiar when we are His. I guess there is an urgent need for us to stop the busyness of our lives and try to just keep silent to hear the quite voice of our Shepherd.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)
I guess now I shouldn't really argue about being likened to sheep, huh? They are so much like us... or should I say we are so much like them. Fortunately for us, though, God has given us this to rejoice about:
"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under HIS CARE." (Psalm 95: 6-7)