Monday, April 25, 2011

In the End, the Sheep Win!!!

2 Samuel 7:8
Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:

David was faithful in the little things. . . In the lonely wilderness of the rock cobbled hillsides of Judea, David tended the sheep even at the risk of his own life. As a boy, he battled a lion and a bear for the protection of his father’s sheep. Apparently in two separate attacks, he delivered a lamb from the mouth of a lion and again from a bear.

God saw the essence of David’s heart, from his integrity in the solitary and humble task of keeping his father’s flocks. It is not recorded that any watchers witnessed David’s acts of courage. Alone in the wilderness, David selflessly placed his own life at risk for service to his sheep.

Faithfully tending the sheep is oh so important. . .Jesus told Peter:

John 21:15-17
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

To say that sheep are important to God’s plan, would be an understatement. . .In the Old Testament sheep were of the most important sacrificial animals:

1 Kings 8:5
And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.

2 Chronicles 7:5
And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

Sheep and oxen without number were killed. . . in another occasion it is mentioned 120,000 sheep offered as sacrifice. . . innocent animals, without blemish. . . deserving no reason to die, but as payment of sin, a death must occur. These animals standing in stead. . .dying for the sins of the people. A metaphor for another sacrifice yet to come. . .

David refers to his people as sheep:

1 Chronicles 21:17
And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

Pleading with God to place the burden upon him and upon his house to spare the sheep in his charge. . . Looking upon his subjects, not as unimportant or insignificant, but as helpless innocents in his charge. . . His burden. . . in his charge. . . in his care. David loved his sheep. He gave of himself for their safety and well being. . .

Jesus both known as the Lamb and calling Himself the Good Shepherd:

John 10:11-14
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (12) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (13) The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Jesus knows His sheep. He laid His life down for His sheep. . .and His sheep know and love Him for He is one of the sheep’s very own. The perfect lamb:

John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

The ultimate for all time, sacrifice ending sacrifice. Jesus came for the sheep. . . gave his everything for the sheep. . .

Up until this point:

Romans 8:36
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

For thy sake we are killed all the day long. . . we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. . . but. . . but. . . BUT!!!! In the end. . . the sheep no longer come in last place. . . the goats. . . the lions. . . the bears . . . the wolves in sheep's clothing . . . and all the other metaphorical critters of God’s creation, must stand by and watch on that final day, when He comes to judge the world. . .

Matthew 25:31-34
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

After all the trials and sacrifice visited upon them, the sheep will be gathered together and be given their reward. . .Blessed are those meek sheep. . .blessed are those mild mannered and without blemish innocent lambs . . .for they shall inherit the earth. . .

No longer persecuted and taking the punishment for sins which they did not commit. . . Now called out and marching to the head of the line. . . Now bestowed with riches beyond measure. . . They are shown to the world to be the unexpected and very much surprise victors for all eternity. Residing for ever more in lush green pastures. . . forever drinking the cool sweet waters prepared for them by the Good Shepherd. . . forever in His presence. . . never more to be bloodied and abused. . .forever to bask in His light.
The story isn’t over until it’s over. . . and on that final day. . . for the first time in the history of all creation the sheep win. . .

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