In the Holy Bible, God likens Himself as the Shepherd and His people as sheep. Why is this so? It is because there are several similar traits between sheep and God’s people.
Ezekiel 34:30-31 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
Relying on Shepherd
When a sheep falls down, it is unable to rise up by itself as it falls on its back with its legs up. Without the help of the shepherd to stand on their fours, sheep will have a risk of suffocation. Likewise, during our spiritual journey of faith, we may face different obstacles making us fall. We too, need the help of our Shepherd to stand. Whatever befalls us, we should never hesitate to ask God for help (Matthew 7:7).
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Chewing the Cud
Sheep’s appetite is a strong indicator of health. Healthy sheep are eager to eat, chewing their cuds for hours a day. The word of God is spiritual food (Matthew 4:4). As God’s sheep, we should always ruminate on the words of God. Our faith grows when we hear God’s words.
Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Sheep are social animals. When one sheep moves, the rest follow. They become highly agitated if they are separated from the flock. The Bible also teaches us that God is pleased when we are united.
Psalms 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Known for their strong flocking, sheeps band together in large numbers for protection. In fact, when a sheep is being isolated from the flock, it is one of the early signs of illness. Sheep that flock together creates a challenge for predators to pick a sheep out of a group. God gives His warning in the Bible to watch out for wolves that devour the sheep.
Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Sheep have an excellent sense of hearing. They easily recognize the shepherd’s voice and do not respond to another shepherd’s call. Jesus Christ specifically mentioned God’s sheep’s ability to hear His voice.
John 10:26-28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Just as sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd, the people of God recognize the voice of God. Since God’s sheep listen to His voice and follow Him, this implies God’s people will obey the commandments as taught by Jesus. Only by keeping God’s commandments can we receive eternal life (John 12:50).