Shepherds Should Spoil SheepChurch
Genesis 29:3 “When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well”
:7-8 “Look,” he said, “the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture. We can’t,” they replied, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”
The shepherds would not water their sheep until all of them had gathered at once. Then as a group they would all water their sheep together. I read this and didn’t know what opinion to have really, was this a positive or a negative thing? I guess you had to value their unity. They were certainly considerate of each other, not being selfish and watering their sheep before anyone else. They had a clear rule, that until all of them had gathered their sheep, no-one was allowed to water their sheep.
But then what about the sheep? As Jacob said, the sun was high, it was certainly very hot and the shepherds were standing around the well waiting to be able to use it! The sheep certainly would have needed water and rest. The shepherds actually compromised the needs of their sheep for their own personal values. Their job was to tend to the needs of the sheep, keeping them healthy, safe and hydrated. However, because they all wanted to be fair to each other, they created rules for themselves at the expense of their sheep.
This thought goes out to leaders, that we must not look for the good of ourselves or the ministry that we lead at the expense of the people that we lead! I lead our church Youth Ministry called ‘Youth Central’, and I make an effort to network and ‘unite’ with other youth groups around the city. I could take our young people along to an event in the interest of networking and uniting, however if it isn’t valuable to them I will have just done what the shepherds did!
We should never place our values and interests above the needs of those that we lead. Jesus held the needs of those around him highest above all. Whilst it comes from good intentions and motives, it is a foolish and negligent choice.