Recently, I warned you, dear readers, that there are a lot of wolves out there dressing up as sheep and living among us. Remember? (the post was “more wolves are wearing wool these days”) Consequently, it is very hard for me to know which people I can trust and which people I should fear. They all look the same to me. I think the wolves are fellow sheep because they are wearing so much wool. They appear to be harmless because they are the epitome of cute and cuddly. And so these wool-wearing wolves live side by side with us, day after day, and no one seems to be the wiser.
Still it seems the flock is thinner than it used to be. Sheep are dying all around us and we are told to do certain things or we will die too. We are full of grief and fear and uncertainty. We want someone to make it all better – someone to make it stop – someone to tell us what to do. We are desperate for solutions to this terror that has come upon us. Although as sheep, we are most comfortable as a flock, (that’s how we roll, how we are healthiest and happiest) we are told the first thing we must do is separate ourselves from each other. No more flock. Go off on your own and wait for further instructions. You will get news of how the other sheep are doing in due time.
Those sheep that take charge seem so genuine, so concerned about the other members of the flock, so determined to keep us safe that we gladly listen to them and follow where they lead us. The flock continues to get thinner, which is why they come up with even more things we must do to keep ourselves safe while dealing with this ever present danger. Some things don’t make sense but we are told it is for our own good, for our own protection. As cute and cuddly sheep, it is in our nature to follow the flock, trusting that those in charge have our best interests at heart. And so even as the flock continues to thin, we continue to follow and obey. We are nothing if not law abiding. (even when the laws change every day – or is that the science that changes every day?)
After all, we are all wearing wool, aren’t we? However, some are wearing a very special kind of wool, which is highly valued and sets them apart as those having knowledge, training and expertise beyond anything the average sheep could aspire to or possess. We trust these sheep, the ones wearing this special wool, because these are the ones who have dedicated their lives to the care and healing of everyone in the flock and of flocks everywhere. These are the ones we have turned to when we have been injured or fallen ill and they have treated us with care and compassion, bringing us back to health time after time. Why would now be any different?
My grandfather was one of those that wore the special wool. He dedicated his life to helping and to healing the hurting and the sick. The white lab coat he wore in his day is still worn by those today who also similarly dedicate their lives to healing the sick among us and to keeping us healthy. Scientists dedicating their lives to finding cures for cancer and other ailments also wear the “special wool” of the white lab coat. However, consider what an utter disaster it would be for flocks of sheep everywhere, if wolves were also wearing white lab coats. The sheep have been trained to trust anyone wearing a white lab coat. After all, white lab coat wearers are the ones that know things, special and difficult things. Those that wear white lab coats should be listened to at all times – even if the flock continues to thin as everyone follows their directives.
Worse yet, what if the white lab coat wearing sheep follow the guidance (some call them mandates) of the white lab coat wearing wolves? The purposes of the former are just the opposite of the purposes of the latter. Consider what John 10:10 says about this situation in which the sheep find themselves –
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” – wolves are predators – they prey on the very sheep they have taken such great pains to blend in with and get close to – that’s why we describe these people as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” When we find that we have been deceived by them, we say they “pulled the wool over our eyes.” Often though, we don’t find out the true identity of the wolf until it’s too late – when there is no way of escape – the table is set – dinner is served and we are the dinner!
How dare the harmer wear the coat of the healer! This is the ultimate betrayal of trust! But then the role model for that very behavior is the enemy of our souls, who has been deceiving us from the beginning. In 2 Corinthians 11:14 I read,
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
What’s a sheep to do? There are those among us wearing white lab coats, telling us what to do, while members of our flock continue to be lost due to isolation, starvation, depression, vaccination, suicide, drug overdose, untreated illnesses – the “cure” the leader of the lab coats called for has resulted in so much loss and death – but we are told not to question those that wear the white lab coats. How to tell the wolves from the sheep? They are all wearing wool and white lab coats. Matthew 12:33 and Matthew 7:15-20 explain it to me in this way,
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
So I won’t know them by how they look (of course not, they are wearing wool!) and I won’t know them by what they say,
“A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” (Proverbs 26:24-26)
however, I can know them by what they do, by the outcomes of their actions, by what their actions produce – in other words, I can know them by the fruit of their actions. Their actions will give them away eventually. The wool-wearing, white lab coat bearing wolves will one day be exposed for who they really are. We can only hope this revelation happens soon, before more sheep are murdered in the name of protecting the flock. But what can I do as a member of the flock, watching so much heartache, loss and deception taking place all around me? Jesus gave this instruction to His disciples when He sent them out into the world –
“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
Do no harm to anyone. I think that’s the sacred oath of those who wear the white lab coats, isn’t it? Intend no harm, do no harm. I don’t want to end up following the wrong leader – the leader who says “we do no harm, this is for your own good,” but then proceeds to do vast and incredible harm to unsuspecting innocents, or the leader who says we are going “here” but then takes us “there.” To that end I will choose the Lord to be my shepherd. He is the One I can trust completely. He leads me “beside still waters and makes me lie down in green pastures.” But more than that, He did something else really spectacular for me. He protected me, He saved me, by sacrificing His own life.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Matthew 10:11)
And that’s just what Jesus did for me and for you, dear readers. He laid His life down on a cross more than two-thousand years ago and now sits at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for me and for you, while He waits for us to arrive safely home at last. Today I cry out to Him, asking Him to protect me, to protect us all, from the wolf wearing wool and a white lab coat, and from all who follow after this wolf instead of following the true Shepherd.
“Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies – make straight Your way before me.” (Psalm 5:8)
sincerely, Grace Day