“And as for you, O My flock, thus says The Lord God: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats. Ezekiel 34:17
Two years ago, we published a series of articles on “Who are the sheep and what are they expected to do?”, “Be a follower of Christ and not a mere member of any denomination called church”, “Who is the hireling?” and so on.
We affirmed the truth that Christ is The Shepherd of all shepherds and sheep. He is The Good Shepherd, The Great Shepherd and The Chief Shepherd. Therefore, all sheep must follow Him and all shepherds (pastors) must imitate Him.
Today, we shall be focusing on the categories of the sheep, the characteristics of true sheep and the expected relationship, God desires between sheep and sheep.
The 5 Categories of the sheep
1. The Weak – who need strength
2. The Sick – who need cure or healing and care.
3. The Broken – who need encouragement and edification
4. The Driven – away – who need love, care and help
5. The Lost – who need salvation through the love shown to them.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUE SHEEP
1. They obey and follow their leader. They do not cause strife and division through gossips or other means in the sheepfold. They enjoy following the leadership of a Spirit-filled shepherd.
2. They love to lie down in green pastures. They love the ministrations of a God-given Shepherd and experience developmental growth through the Word.
3. They never miss feeding time. They listen with wrapped attention to their pastors preaching and cannot wait to be in the next service. They avoid distractions.
4. They produce sheep by bringing others into the fold through evangelism.
5. They love to be sheared. Shearing is the method of lovingly trimming the wool of sheep to avoid getting hooked as they move around in the bush. It also prevents twigs and leeches from latching on to them thereby causing sickness. Shearing is different from fleecing which can be criminally done for commercial purposes.
6. They follow leader-sheep. They recognize, imitate and follow their leader, as he follows Christ.
WHY WILL GOD JUDGE BETWEEN SHEEP AND SHEEP?
In Ezekiel chapter 34, the first set of people to be judged by God are the shepherds who denied God’s flock of food, shelter, love, care but forcefully and cruelly rule them.
Therefore, He has promised to tend and nurture His flock by Himself.
Interestingly, in verses 17 through 21 of the same chapter, God shifted His attention to the ill treatment of the lean sheep by the fat sheep and the activities of the rams and goats in the sheep fold.
He never takes sides, He takes over. He does not want any sheep to maltreat his/her fellow sheep. He only desires that all His sheep should have a meek and lowly spirit like Christ.
However, He will rescue His Precious flock from their oppressors and appoint over them, His servant who will feed them and be their shepherd.
Dearly Beloved, the first place where judgement will begin, is in God’s house. What kind of a sheep or even shepherd are you?
Let us soberly reflect on this and make amends where necessary, when there is still time.
God bless you all.