The Parable of the Shameful Shepherd
Prov.14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Long, long, ago, there was a kingdom that had a great king who had conquered the entire world, known to the inhabitants of all the lands. The Lord of the kingdom called all the subjects together for a great feast. While at the feast He gave all that were there anything their hearts desired and privileges and any indulgences their hearts could desire. This He did so that He could find out who the wisest servants are in His kingdom: Those who knew how to act with maturity and not to act unwisely. At the end of the feast, He called His servants that were left standing, those who had not defiled themselves with the lusts of the flesh and made them masters over all the regions of His kingdom. Now the King put in place a set of Royal Laws and left to conquer new worlds and left His masters to rule over His lands.
Now many years had passed and the Kings masters of His world were becoming unruly and had become wicked with their new found authority. The King found favor with one man out of all these shameful rulers and put him in charge of His world. This wise master was very just and the entire kingdom loved the Kings new master very much. All the people wanted to be in the service of the new master and live in his house and serve only him.
The master was very kind and generous to those who were willing to work for him and his people loved him with all their hearts. All the people wanted to do is please the master so they would be blessed by him and all the people and the master’s kingdom increased with great abundance.
Many servants wanted to be head Shepherd over all the masters flocks because it was a highly honored position to be the master’s Royal Shepherd. One day the master came and gave orders to all his servants to take his flocks to their new pastures, but the master held back his prize flock to the most accomplished servants. All his servants wanted to tend this very prized flock for the master loved this flock more than the others of all the flocks in the whole world he loved this flock! Now the master was very wise, He gave a few sheep to one servant with his pasture that he was to take the sheep that he was in charge of and sent him on his way. He did the same with all the rest. He came to the last, the seventh servant and told him where to go and how to get there, now the directions he gave his servant were not very many or very complicated so the servant had no problem repeating the directions back to his master, he knew all he was to do. He swore an oath to his master that he would give his life for the master’s sheep and would bring every one of them safely home again: If not he would give his life for all of them or even if one was not returned to his beloved master.
Now this Shepherd went his way as instructed. He went by a field which had some sheep in it already, which had very tall green lavish grass in it. He went a little further and saw the field he was instructed to go to. When he went into the field the grass was not as high and was not as green and lush as the field with the other sheep he had passed by earlier. The Shepherd started thinking to himself about all the rewards his master would give him for his job well done. He thought to himself, now the sheep that were in the field he had passed earlier looked as good to him as the sheep he had in his care. He began to think about the possibilities of great praises he would receive from his Lord if he were to come home with more sheep than what he left with, he thought surely I would be allowed to be Royal Shepherd over all my Lord’s flocks and receive great honor from all the people in the kingdoms.
So the Shepherd gathered all his master’s sheep and returned to the pasture he had passed earlier. He even thought how much better his master’s sheep would be feed in the taller and greener grass and how fast and fat they would grow in the lush grass.
Now he had no idea what laid in store for him and the sheep under his care. When he got them all inside the pasture he started looking around and found that some of the sheep were getting stuck in the mud around the pond because the sides were too soft and steep, so he went to help them get water without drowning. His mind started racing what would happen to him if he didn’t bring every one of his master’s sheep home with him what he would do or say. Now this scared the Shepherd terribly and he began to tremble in fear at the thought of what would happen when he returned if one were missing, for he swore an Oath to his Lord.
While he was working so hard to get his flock out of the pond he thought to himself how he wished he had done exactly as his wise master had instructed him. He was desperately trying with all his strength to get one out and another would get stuck just as soon as he got the other one out. Mean while he was working to free the sheep from their watery grave, there came into the pasture a bear. Now the bear chased some of the sheep to the end of the valley and there was a very rocky ravine and some of the sheep fell down the ravine and were torn asunder and crushed on the rocks below.
The Shepherd went to the end of the valley to kill the bear so that he could prove to the master that he had not lost the sheep and show him the bear’s carcass that had killed the master’s beloved sheep. While he was down at the end of the valley, a lion and her cubs came out of one of the caves, and began to carry off some of the others. There was nothing the Shepherd could do but watch in horror as his master’s flock disappeared before his very eyes. After he killed the bear and started back he thought well maybe he gained enough sheep from the sheep that were already in the pasture that no one would notice any missing from the head count that he left with.
When he made it all the way back, he started working to free the last of the sheep that were stuck, as he came up the steep bank of the pond, he saw a pack of wolves had come into the valley and they started chasing the sheep to the end of the valley towards the ravine. There were too many of them but he was determined to try and save some of them. When the wolves carried away all they could carry he could do nothing but watch in horror.
He gathered up the remaining sheep and left this pasture and went back to the pasture his Lord told him to take them to at the first. When he finally got them into the pasture, his Lord came with all of his men. He asked the shameful Shepherd were all of his beloved flock was and as he was explaining to his master the sheep began to die in the field; one by one, the rest of the Lord’s prize and loved sheep died before all of them in their presence.
Now the Lord asked the shameful Shepherd what he had done. The Shepherd told his Lord all the tale of the matter and all that befell the flock. The master listened quietly as the Shepherd explained himself. The master when the devastated Shepherd had finished his tale had tears in his eyes over the loss of the sheep but not so much for the flock but for the Shepherd who had not done as instructed and sworn by an Oath.
The Lord began to tell the Shepherd the things the Lord had done before he had instructed him to go to this pasture. The master had already cleared the pasture that the Shepherd was to take his prize flock to; all of the master’s men had already chased all the wolves and the lion and her cubs as well as the bear away earlier. The sheep that were in the valley pasture that he had passed were diseased and had been sent there to be destroyed and the field burned because of the sickness that was in the field and the contaminated sheep.
Now the master said I would have forgiven all, and his tears welled up in his eyes and started to run down into his beard; But because you swore an oath on your own, I must carry out your own Oath, that you swore to protect my children, and you have not fulfilled your Oath and now I must turn you over to the torturers, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
This is the moral of the parable, the Shepherd is the Lord’s ministers to His people the seven churches, the pond with the steep sides that the sheep were getting stuck in represents the cares of the world and the necessities of life, and the ravine represents what happens when the Lord’s people get to far from the flock and the watchful eye of the Shepherd. The bear was the flesh of man and the Lion and her cubs represent pride of self and the wolves are the lust of the eyes and the diseased flock represents the carnal world and its filth that can kill without being seen.
So in the end the Shameful Shepherd had a good heart and wanted the best for his flock as well as he wanted his master’s respect but it was his vain glory that he thought he would get for increasing the Lord’s flock that got him in all the trouble, with the thought of great rewards and honor from all the kingdom for being the Lord’s best Shepherd, he lost all. When you do not follow the Lord’s commandments and instructions to the letter you will lose all. The Lord is who gives the increase if done correctly, His way!
Lord’s Way Ministries
G. L. Boyett Tuesday November 16, 2011
The End of Volume 2
- L. Boyett