Lord's Day Liturgy

Speckled, Spotted, and Strong

How can shepherds work to increase the jealousbility of their flock?

I was thinking about Jacob’s third deal with Laban, in which Laban agreed to give all the speckled and spotted sheep and goats (and black lambs) to his son-in-law (Genesis 30:32-33). Laban, deceiving the deceiver, took away the speckled and spotted (Genesis 30:35). But as Jacob shepherded, he set up peeled sticks at the watering places, and “the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted” (Genesis 30:39). Then he started only laying the sticks in front of the stronger sheep, “so the feebler would be Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s” (Genesis 30:42). (For an interesting take on why this worked, check out this journal article.)

That story does not have deeper/spiritual meaning, but I do think it’s interesting as an illustration for another principle.

We, as sheep of the Chief Shepherd, come to behold Him by faith week by week in worship and especially at the Lord’s Table. We are transformed by beholding His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), including the glory of His love and sacrifice on the cross. So we are made strong, Scripture by Scripture, song by song, prayer by prayer, communion by communion.

The Shepherd of the sheep is kind to give us life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).