by Tom Brennan,
David the Once and Future King of Israel was a shepherd when Saul and his army faced the Philistine King. Jesse needed to have someone stay behind when the sons went to fight with Saul. In these days the King of Israel called up men to form the army to fight Israel’s wars. David was the youngest and was selected to watch Jesse’s flocks. Being a shepherd was no easy job. Predators, four and two-legged were a reality and a shepherd had to be ready to protect the sheep. The preferred weapon was a sling. This was not the slingshot of your childhood but a lethal weapon that sent a projectile at high speed at an enemy. Israel had at this time large carnivores, lions and bears and these were capable of killing large numbers of sheep or goats. The shepherd was to protect the flock from a perimeter; the predator could not cross into it. Constant practice and accuracy were demanded to do the job. David was really good at it.
Those who work with sheep know they are the most herd-bound animals you can imagine. They will panic at a change in the wind and break into smaller groups that stampede in every direction. Keeping them safe and together is a full time task. I am not sure but I think David had a sheepdog.
Dogs get a “bad press” in the Bible. Dogs ate evil Queen Jezebel and Yeshua said do not give the children’s bread to the dogs. But dogs were working animals, and they were used by nobles and rulers in the hunt and guard duty. The average villager saw the strays and castoffs, they did not keep pets. The dogs they saw were the bottom pf the barrel.
Shepherds were a solitary lot and when you live in the open like they did you weren’t always neat and clean. You usually smelled like work. But they were a tough and hardy lot and could use their sling to protect and defend. But the sheepdog is also a part of the guardian work. Dogs are great companions and watching a sheepdog work is a wonderful experience. Unless the dog is “put on” the sheep he or she stays close and waits until given a command.
The good shepherd is a model spoken of by Yeshua. The sheep are the people and the sheepdog works with the shepherd to protect the sheep. Today we have a more passive idea of shepherding. The wolves know this. Today’s shepherds need sheepdogs, badly.
Today we are at war. Islamic Jihad, secularists, those who reject God’s Ways are attacking Israel from all sides, even from within the churches. Many shepherds have become passive and need a good, obedient sheepdog to help out. A sheepdog follows orders and sees what the shepherd misses. He can be aggressive where the shepherd might not be. But he or she is a necessity in these perilous times. A piece written by a soldier says it all. Yes, we must live our enemies but in war we need to make sure they are no longer our enemies first.
The following is from a book written by a soldier, a hero, a sheepdog. In today’s confused and dangerous world we need to read these words.
“On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.
“Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. But they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
“Wolves feed on the sheep without mercy” .Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial. Then there are sheepdogs, and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior – someone who is walking the hero’s path – someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.”Share this page with your friends
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