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Conquering sheep…

January 18, 2007

or sheep conquering? Bet in both cases you probably think I mean to go out and knock down some sheep, right? A new version of cow-tipping, maybe? Aren’t sheep docile, fluffy, perhaps somewhat slow, but certainly counted among the genteeler of animals? I’m not a sheep farmer, you realize. I’m sure they have their bad habits. Still, I don’t really think of sheep as too high up on the food chain–rather more as part of the food chain.

I’m mostly interested in all the Biblical illustrations of people and sheep, believers especially as sheep. The prophets called the people of Israel sheep, 1 Kings 22:17. David called the people of his kingdom sheep, 1 Chronicles 21:17. The Psalmists called people sheep, Psalm 44, 49, 74, 78, 79, 94, 100 and others. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Micah all have references of calling people sheep. Sheep gone astray, sheep to be brought back, sheep that have been lost and so on. The Gospels have several references where Jesus called believers sheep. Are you getting the point? Sheep equals people, and if you check the context of certain passages, sheep equals believers.

I think sheep equals believers is the context in Romans 8:36 when Paul writes, "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." We understand that, if you eat meat, sheep are on the list of slaughtering. So why then in Romans 8:37 does he say, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

Does this mean we are conquering sheep? Imagine, if you would, a whole herd of conquering sheep coming across a green pasture, with victory in their eyes and a battle shout of praise in their bleating……Yes, I’m having a hard time with it too.

But if I’m going to be a sheep in one respect, lost and gone astray and needing a Good Shepherd and hearing His voice and following Him, then this world of trouble that seeks to slaughter me had better watch out–I’m coming a’conquering in the name of the Lord!

That’s right–I’m a conquering sheep!


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