Are You Like One of These?
‘IT’S better to be a lion for a day than a lamb for a hundred years.’ Those words have been ascribed to Benito Mussolini, one-time dictator of Italy.
Like Mussolini many people would object to being classed as lambs and sheep. However, ancient Israel’s psalmist-king David declared: “Jehovah is my Shepherd. . . . By well-watered resting-places he conducts me.” (Psalm 23:1, 2) Yes, Jehovah God is the Great Shepherd, who gives his people tender care as though they were harmless sheep.
God’s people are spoken of as figurative sheep at Psalm 95:7, where we read: “For [Jehovah] is our God, and we are the people of his pasturage and the sheep of his hand.” Some might have expected the psalmist to speak of “the sheep of his pasturage” and “the people of his hand.” But here matters are reversed, and Jehovah’s people themselves are thus identified as his sheep. They enjoy the benefits of God’s pasturage and are led by his loving hand.
Jehovah’s Son, Jesus Christ, is the Fine Shepherd. He often referred to people as sheep. For instance, Jesus spoke of a “little flock” and of his “other sheep.” (Luke 12:32; John 10:14-16) Regarding his humble sheeplike disciples, Jesus said: “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27, 28) In the hand of a benevolent ruler, subjects benefit from his power, favor, guidance, and protection.—Revelation 1:16, 20; 2:1.
Nobody can snatch truly sheeplike people out of Jesus’ protective hand. Today, he is separating people either as “goats” lacking his favor or as “sheep” who will enjoy life eternal under the rule of God’s heavenly Kingdom. (Matthew 25:31-46) Will you prove to be one of those blessed sheep?
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