Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan
is Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20
This stood out for me from today's readings:
Zechariah 10:2b Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
I think we all can identify with the wandering like a sheep. We get so wrapped up in our own busy lives that we don't even know where we are going sometimes. Without a shepherd, we are lost. As society shifts away from God and the line between truth and lie becomes blurred. Truth has become individual where nothing is true unless you choose to believe it. Morals, values, and family are corrupted. We see that Satan is succeeding at blinding people from truth and the analogy that we are sheep really fits.
I found this piece:
Do a little bit of reading about sheep and you’ll soon see they are not survivors. They are not strong and independent creatures, not proud hunters or fierce predators. They’re actually kind of pathetic, entirely dependent upon a shepherd for at least three reasons. Two of these reasons are related to the brain of a sheep and the other is related to its body.
This is a real news story that aptly tells us the first reason sheep need a shepherd: because sheep are dumb.
Hundreds of sheep followed their leader off a cliff in eastern Turkey, plunging to their deaths this week while shepherds looked on in dismay. Four hundred sheep fell 15 metres to their deaths in a ravine in Van province near Iran but broke the fall of another 1,100 animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. The loss to local farmers was estimated at $74,000.
One sheep wandered off a cliff and 1,499 others just followed along. Can you picture it? 1,500 sheep, each walking off a cliff, one after the other. Soon they were piled so deep that the ones at the bottom were crushed to death and the ones on top were lying on a big downy-soft pillow. It is completely absurd and tells us one important fact about sheep and the first reason sheep absolutely need a shepherd: they are not the smartest animals in the world. In fact, they may well be just about the dumbest animals in the world.
And here’s a second reason sheep need a shepherd: they are directionless. Sheep are prone to wander. Even if you put them in an absolutely perfect environment with everything they need (things like green pastures and still waters), sooner or later they will just wander off. If a shepherd doesn’t manage them, if he doesn’t micromanage them and keep them under constant surveillance, they’ll wander off and be lost.
Sheep are dumb and directionless. They are also defenseless. Left to themselves, sheep will not and cannot last very long. Just about any other domesticated animal can be returned to the wild and will stand a fighting chance of survival. But not sheep. Put a sheep in the wild and you’ve just given nature a snack.
Sheep are dumb and directionless and defenseless. So I guess when God says that we are sheep who need a shepherd, he doesn’t mean it as a compliment to us. It is just a very realistic assessment of who we are and what we need. We are sheep who are completely dependent upon a shepherd. Sheep can’t fight, they can’t run away, and they can’t scare away. So what does a sheep do when danger comes? It flocks. When a bear approaches, the sheep will gather with others in a pack and run in circles in complete panic, just hoping that the bear will choose someone else. Without a shepherd to protect them, they’ll be picked off and eaten one by one.
To say that God is our shepherd and we are sheep, is to humble ourselves, admitting what is true about us, and to elevate God, declaring what is true of him. When you say, “The Lord is my shepherd,” you are saying something that ought to move your heart in praise and gratitude. To declare that God if your shepherd is to praise and glorify him because God the shepherd stoops down to care for poor, lost, not-so-smart sheep like you and me.
The good thing is that we need a shepherd and we do have one. If we submit to God, he will prevent us from following the flock over the cliff. He will lead us to the places we should be going. He will be our wisdom, our guide, and protector. We need a shepherd.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage
: Zechariah 13-14; Revelation 21