Sheep Are Defenseless – The Shepherd Defends
Let’s talk sheep! We learned sheep are dumb and dirty (what a great pair). Now, we look at sheep’s ability to defend themselves. It is another sad piece of information; sheep are defenseless.
Most animals have a defensive arsenal they can use when predators approach. Let’s look at a few examples that are well known to us. Dogs bark, scratch and bite. Cats hiss, arch and claw. Snakes coil, maybe rattle, constrict, and bite. Lions just simply kill (king of the jungle)! We can look at most animals and find at least one mechanism for defense. Sheep are pretty much a predator’s dream. They can “baaa baaa” all day long but that does not scare away killers. In fact, my study reveals when sheep are being attacked, they join the other sheep in the flock and start running in circles. The predator picks them off one by one. Circle running sounds like a marvelous plan. Almost as good as going upstairs when escaping an attacker in a scary movie.
Without the shepherd, sheep fall prey to any victim – even themselves. When sheep find themselves on their back, they cannot get back up. The sheep stay down unable to stand until the shepherd comes and picks them up.
The Defenseless Need a Defender
Defends Us From Sin
Just like sheep, we need a shepherd to defend us. Thankfully, God is faithful to us and defends when we cannot fight off that which seeks to destroy us. The only place to start is our sin. God protects us from ourselves. Just like the sheep at times are their own worst enemies straying off into dangerous situations, we, too, follow the sirens of sin into dark places. Remember, we are not sinners because of what we do. We are sinners because of who we are – born sinners (Psalm 139). James reminds us, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” The Lord is our faithful Shepherd who protects us from the wiles of our own sinful heart. He protects us from ourselves, and he does this through Jesus Christ!
Defends Us From Satan
God protects us from the terminal effects of sin and satan. Satan is known as the “prince of of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” – Ephesians 2:2. Satan seeks to lay claim on our lives since we are separated from God because of our sin. Ironically, satan thinks his power is enough to keep us eternally separated from God when we die. Satan stands on the truth, “for the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23. However, satan has misunderstood the latter promise in Romans 6:23 – “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is the reason satan wants Christ dead on the Cross. He believes Christ’s death will fulfill his plan.
However, satan is wrong as he is the “father of lies.” He even lies to himself. Death could not contain the power of the Lord, the Creator of all things. In Jesus’ death, God continues to show His power over all things. Christ’s death does not bring satan’s victory. Christ’s death is an integral part of satan’s defeat. All of this made possible because the Lord is our Good Shepherd who does for us, his sheep, what we cannot do for ourselves. The Father provides redemption and salvation for us – Romans 6:23! It is all the work of the Good Shepherd – Ephesians 2:8-9.
Continually Defends Us
Yet, God does not stop defending us at the Cross. God gives us the Holy Spirit as our seal so that we can withstand the temptation of sin and live for Him. The Lord is our Good Shepherd who defends us every moment of our lives. Without Him, we cannot live!
Today as you dwell upon what Christ accomplished on the Cross, reflect on the great sacrifice of God to defend us, to provide for us what we cannot provide for ourselves – LIFE. To Him be the glory in all things!