When I listen for God’s whispers, I am always amazed and intrigued by the way He speaks. Some would think it is before, during, or after your prayer. Yet, I have experienced His voice, more by the creation location, instead of my doing anything. And so, that is how this came to me, so differently it was somewhat shocking and yet amusing.
I was watching one of my favorite Christmas movies, “White Christmas” in the mountains. When Bing Crosby started singing a special song. The words mention about being weary to fall asleep. You have heard that people count sheep sometimes to finally nod off. Yet, in this song, it goes on to say, count your blessings instead of sheep. This started the whole idea of our Lord as our Shepherd and how the sheep were shorn in His time on earth. The shearing seemed important because He has to shear us of our old life when we become new in Him. His rod and His staff are constantly taking care of us.
Investigating the shearing process by Jewish Law is very specific and laborious. I will not be overly explicit because you have the capability of looking up, The Laws of the Shabbat, which covers every part of this importance. The part I did find so in tune to our being His sheep, is the conciseness of His care, time, and love required to take this grueling procedure to the finish.
The many activities required for shearing include some of the following. Cleaning and purifying the wool before it ever is clipped off. My spirit says this is first when Jesus’ blood is used to purify us from sin, we know upon our salvation, His forgiveness is only required once for all of our sins, but He wants us to always acknowledge our sins with Him. This is a reminder to remember how Jesus laid down His life for us and why. Before other times of next season’s shearing, we do get dirty, so enters the Shabbot. Shabbot is the Sabbath, which is the only Jewish holiday that occurs every week. It seems that this would be time for us to be cleansed again, in the mercy of His blessings giving thanks. On the Sabbath in Hebrew prayers, they are called blessings.
The next is caring of the developing fruit from the fleece. The constant cleaning again for preparation of the actual weaving process, spinning, meshing, netting, and knotting until the wool is made into something usable. This reminds me of 2 Timothy 3:16-17; “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God is preparing us to be His useful servants.
Here is the last sequence presented by Hebrew Law. This last of the procedure is the type of labor and finishing for the fabrics created. Which area will it be used in? What type of use is needed in the use of this beautiful fabric? In other words, what will its purpose be?
If we recall Jesus telling us that He is the vine and we are His branches. (John 15:1-8) it is synonymous to the fact there is pruning and constant spiritual remedies to keep His sheep or branches available to His Purpose. The purpose of the fleece is for weaving a fabric, the purpose of the branches is to bear the grapes, all of these fruits are used to feed others. Both of these equate to His Blessings for all mankind towards eternal life with Jesus.
We need to count our blessings and give thanks while He counts His sheep. We are not meant to count the numbers, we are shorn clean for His Plan in us. In our oneness together with Him, His voice will be heard.
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 1
John 10:1-18 gives the entirety of the thoughts in this lesson. The last four verses however, are listing the command that Jesus received from His Father, our Father in Heaven.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice16 I have other sheep that are not of this, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”