The Wolf of Peachtree StreetGeorge Shamblin
Wolves are wise but equally wily. For them, survival is incumbent upon a steady diet of prey. On the other hand, sheep can be suckers, overly simplistic, and shockingly easy to fool. Jesus had cause for saying all that He said. We’re referred to as the sheep of His pasture for a reason. For the wolf, no better path exists to infiltrate the Lord’s flock than to be cloaked in a sheepskin. It’s equally terrifying as it is brilliant.
Sheep look alike from afar, indistinguishable for the most part when viewed from a distance. No care would be evident if said green pasture was full of the wooly creatures happily grazing about. All would be well with the world right then.
But things might appear otherwise if you inched up near the flock, like the same distance a pulpit is from a pew. Stuff you hadn’t noted before now profoundly concerns you. Sheep have hoofs, not claws, teeth, not fangs; everybody knows that, or at least should. So you’re slightly thrown off seeing a claw here or a fang there. They’re out of place. They don’t belong. It’s a flock of sheep, for crying out loud.
Unmistakably, something is amiss, and imminent danger exists. Your alarm bells go largely unheeded despite flailing your arms and running about like a madman to warn the happy flock. You become the weirdo, not the “sheep” that more closely resembles a wolf. By the time the fake sheepskins come off and the posterior is shed, it’s too late. Said green pasture, once full of wooly creatures happily grazing about, has become carnage. All would be well with the world right then is a thing of the past.
Is there something specific being alluded to here? Or someone? For expediency, I’ll leave you to figure that out. Flailing my arms and running about thus far have done no good; hardly an eyebrow has raised each time I’ve done it. I will tell you that wolves in sheep’s clothing are nothing new. Early in Christ’s ministry, He preemptively issued such warnings: Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. Wolves can appear among the Lord’s flock where least suspected: in your hometown perhaps, maybe the pulpit of your church: they can pop up pretty much anywhere, anytime, from Main Street to Oak Street, possibly even a region we could call “Peachtree Street,” or any site closer by.
Suggestions for the Fold
There was a newspaper report in India of a man accused of stealing a sheep. He was brought before the judge, and the supposed owner of the sheep was also present. Both claimed the sheep and had witnesses to prove their claims. So, it was challenging to decide to whom the sheep belonged. Knowing the habits of the shepherds and the sheep, the judge ordered the animal to be brought into court and sent one of the two men into another room while he told the other to call the sheep. But the poor sheep, not knowing the stranger’s voice, would not go to him. In the meantime, the other man in the adjoining room, growing impatient, gave a kind of a “chuck,” upon which the sheep bounded away towards him at once. This “chuck” was his way of calling the sheep, and it was decided at once that he was the actual owner.
My advice to fellow sheep is this: learn to discern the distinctions between your Shepherd’s voice and the sound of strangers. Only one has your best interest in view. Christ, the Good Shepherd, assures you, The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out… and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. A stranger they will not follow but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers. Jn. 10:3-5
For instance, if a person told you, “Don’t say ‘the Bible says,’ when engaging non-believers,” you’d have to compare and contrast that statement with the fact Jesus quoted the Torah over 100 times, (I.e., As it is written, ‘these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’). Or if called upon to cast off the Old Testament, what would you do with John 5:46-47: If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?
Tons more examples could follow. But, if you don’t get anything else from this blog, please get this. As stated above, wolves in sheep’s clothing are wise but equally wily. Never expect one to flat-out tell you, “I’m going to eat you.” It’s much more subtle than that. I promise you; the Wolf of Peachtree Street’s outer sheepskin is loosening fast. It’s becoming more apparent every day what lies underneath. But you must pay attention to what he’s actually teaching. Why receive anything other than the Good Shepherd’s voice? Why settle for anything less than the Lord’s best for you? You can trust Him when He promised: I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing place will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down in a good grazing place and feed in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. I Myself will feed My flock and I Myself will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. Ez. 34:14-15
For those who have ears to hear, let them hear