Mat 25:41 “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. MSG
I was recently re-exposed to the 23rd Psalm and it was also a quick reminder on the nature of sheep.
The 23rd psalm is probably the most popular of the psalms and I believe it is known by both Christians and non-Christians alike, at least the opening verse. What is more important to note is the implication to the two parties.
We can make the mistake of assuming the Christian is the sheep and the non-Christian is anything but. This article is a humbling opinion for everyone especially the over-assuming Christian.
Anyone who believes the Lord is his/her shepherd is agreeing to the fact that s/he is a sheep. That is not a bad thing, but we must not be in a hurry to agree because that fact can be damning. It is important that we agree but we must do so with full understanding of the fact.
My personal definition or description of a sheep is one that if I were to be a sheep, I will find difficult to consent to but my guess is that The real sheep will probably agree with little or no argument.
A Sheep is stupid and a dunce. It is not bright, not brilliant and it is also a helpless animal. This appear to me as the most incredible combination of character traits any animal can possess: stupid and helpless. For effect, let’s say a sheep is both Hapless and Helpless.
I am not sure how a sheep will like that description, but most of the things I have seen a sheep in isolation do has proven beyond doubt that it is a stupid animal at least a goat won’t behave as stupid.
There is a Yoruba rhyme we used to say when we were younger, and it is probably the exclusive enjoyment of public school pupils. A quick transliteration goes like so:
A goat is a domestic animal that is often beaten because of its stubbornness
If a goat is beaten it will roll its eyes between its two distinctive ears
listen little children don’t be like the goat a stubborn animal, meh (simulating the bleating of a goat)
That about summarized the most important information about the goat for this discuss, but let’s attempt to stretch it a little further.
A goat may be stubborn, but it is obviously smarter than a sheep. You will hardly have a reason to beat a sheep, shepherds may think otherwise but I don’t think there is disputing the fact that a goat is “often beaten”.
A goat will often try to eat its cake and have it, which is often the reason it gets in trouble. It will even play on the intelligence of a man, whom biology describes as a higher animal. A goat will do all it must to have its way and it has little Or no regard for correction.
Special Breeds of Goats.
There are two special breeds of goats: The “worthy goats” and the “worthless goats”. I didn’t breed them, but I am one of the two breeds and so are you.
Isn’t it a good thing that we are described as stubborn goats rather than stupid sheep? Well, it is not so good, mildly put.
Almost everyone starts out as a worthless goat but by grace some become “worthy goats”. It is interesting to note that the worthy goats are the ones who gets to be on the right hand of God at judgment, only that they don’t call them worthy goats but sheep.
Wait a minute, isn’t the Biblical approach that which prefers the stupid and the weak over the stubborn and the strong?
If this happens to be true, are we not making ourselves soft targets for God’s wrath? By we, I’m referring to Christians. What do I mean? How often do we go our own way, do things that we like rather than what God wants? How often do we sound like a goat rather than bleat and baa like a sheep? How often God must feel confused (if He can be confused) about people who claimed Him as their shepherd who are anything but a sheep? A sheep cannot defend itself (no horns for defense) and doesn’t have a good dentition for offense and therefore has to depend on its shepherd for defense. This often doesn’t sound like a modern Christian. A modern Christian is not stupid and is not a dunce. It is not that a Christian has to stop being reasonable the day he becomes a Christian, but the truth is
Christians stop doing what they like to start doing what God likes. This often means appearing stupid and weak.
One of the questions I asked myself from the recent exposure to the 23rd psalm is how much do I rely on God if indeed He is my shepherd and can my many attempts at self-reliance qualify me as a “worthless goat”? A sheep needs to be dependent while a goat doesn’t seem to need a hand, a sheep is reliant on its shepherd while a goat is not as dependent. The trendy thing in our days is to be self-reliant and independent, something that is more of a goat’s nature than a sheep’s. Isn’t that a trap for me to be qualified as a special breed of “worthless goats”?
P.S.: Do you think not relying on God can qualify a person as one of the “worthless goats”? Share your thought with us by using the comment box.