Saturday, February 22, 2020

Just Like Sheep

white sheep on green grass field near lake during daytime

Not only does God speak to us in a way we can understand, but He created nature in such a way that it is full of pictures and examples to make God's ways very clear to us. 

This morning, my husband and I were watching a nature show on our kitchen TV as we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast .  The program focused on monkeys, who always fascinate me.  One monkey had a pet kitten that it was dragging around by the tail or rather roughly cuddled.  The kitten could easily have run away but the 'friendship' seemed to go both ways.  If the monkey had both hands busy in getting food, the kitten sat nearby and watched.   It was rather cute to see.  
But then the monkey walked through a chest deep swampy river and he held both arms above his head, the kitten clutched tightly in one hand, making sure it was above water at all times.   Then he dumped the kitten on the shore and before the monkey climbed out of the water he began to wash himself.   

My thoughts raced ......  and I realized in a flash of insight that all animals either keep themselves clean or  for some another animal will help groom/clean them .  
All animals - except one. 
The sheep.  
Interesting that the sheep is the animal that God created to be the 'picture' of His people.  "We are the sheep of His pasture."  Psalm 100:3.  

We know that sheep need a Shepherd and  that sheep need a lot of care.... but I had never recognized this truth --  That sheep are the only animal unable to clean themselves.  They are afraid of water, and they cannot lick themselves.  
And no other animal is able to clean them.   They need someone higher and wiser -- their Shepherd -- to clean and keep them clean. 
Isn't that a perfect picture of us ?   We cannot 'clean' ourselves, not can we look to each other to clean us.  We need someone Higher and Wiser -  our Shepherd -  to clean us from our sin and iniquity.   Only God can forgive us through the sacrifice of the Perfect God/Man.
In Exekiel 36:25, speaking prophetically of the New Covenant He says .....   "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 

We don't need to be theologians to understand God.  We just need to be observers of the 'picture book'  He created around us to illustrate and make clear His word so that we not only understand Him but also ourselves in relationship to Him.