September 5, 2018

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 5, 2018

By Boyd Bailey

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:15-16

I am angry. Angry at leaders who use their position of trust and implied integrity to take advantage of children and church members. I pray my anger is not fueled by self-righteousness, since I am a fellow sinner with my own struggles and chronic weaknesses. My heart hurts and grieves for the victims: some lost their innocence, some lost their life savings, some lost a respected leader—but all lost. Ministers who minister for themselves are predators, preying on the weak, the naive and the deceived. They are captives of their lust, their greed and their sick souls.

Jesus called out the false prophets. His word picture is striking—a wolf posing as a sheep. Outwardly gentle as a sheep, inwardly ferocious as a wolf. Outwardly a smooth teacher with attractive words, inwardly a mercenary manic, luring in his prey. Outwardly an authentic shepherd, caring for the sheep, inwardly a selfish hired hand, sheering the sheep for gain. Outwardly strengthening the weak and binding up the injured, but inwardly allowing the sheep to stray. Jesus warns, “Watch out”. Look closely with the Holy Spirit’s discernment for the fruit is rotten!

“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them” (Ezekiel 34:8-10).

Fortunately, our heavenly Father does not sit idle as His sheep are exploited, exposed and endangered by shameful shepherds. When a man scatters the sheep by his prideful, divisive  behavior, our Great Shepherd goes after the lost and lonely lamb with His great love, grace and mercy. The pastures of God’s grace are still green, we can recover beside still waters and heal our broken hearts. Our soul can still sup with our ever present Savior Jesus. We mustn’t forever abandon our faith because of fallen figureheads of a false faith. Forgiveness keeps us faithful. The flock of God will overcome ravaging wolves through trust and hope in our Great Shepherd.

What shall we do to prevent the prostitution of faith in the future? Remember, remember, remember, we do not finish well alone—only with accountability and community. A man left by himself worships the image of himself. A person isolated from the flock, is not accountable to the flock. As God stated in the beginning, “It’s not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Loving accountability does not look the other way, but looks below the surface at what’s real. Trust, but verify. True shepherds walk in manure, and don’t run from wolves. Pray for them. “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, my heart breaks for the victims of religious leaders who use their position to exploit others. Please heal and restore those who have been deeply wounded, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Application

How can I be more accountable in my work, family and relationships? Who can I offer loving accountability with my time and concern?


Related Reading

Jeremiah 23:16; Matthew 24:24; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1


Post/Tweet today

True shepherds walk in manure, and don’t run from wolves. #WisdomHunters #wolvesinsheepsclothing


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Comments

  1. ELB says:

    THANK YOU !!
    I too get very angry and disturbed when I have to tolerate this type of person. I am living with this so-called Christian man for 20 years.
    The yearning in prayer for change, seeking the Lord to soften his hard heart is constant. I see glimmers of change and it makes me hopeful. However, it is very short lived and he returns to the cycle of demeaning, passive-aggressive, prideful emotional and verbal abuse. I have no outward scars so it is so hard to prove to anyone this is happening behind closed doors. And YES I can attest he is well respected at work and around the community.

    I can also attest to …. Our Good, Kind and Preciously Benevolent Shepherd pours his love and affection on me with assurance and words from the scriptures to comfort me. Thank you Boyd Bailey, because I didn’t understand what always happened to me when I sat sad and bewildered, thinking it was always me, because of his harsh accusations. NOW I get it! I couldn’t put my finger on exactly how He does that— It’s His loving care, His affirmations and His attentiveness to sustain me!

    Your teaching today on kindness and compassion confused me because of this one, I read on the 5th; glad I re-read it. Unfortunately, kindness and compassion is taken as “approval” by the wolf. I can only compare it to the 10th-century Italian folktale, Little Red Riding hood. Which I have interpreted as…The Narcissist and the Empath —this describes our relationship to a tee! He cannot be trusted.

    ALL my trust is in My Good Shepherd ♥ who will rescue me in his time, as I trust in HIM.
    Thank you again Boyd Bailey, for bringing The Word to LIFE!!!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Beth,
      I read over your response to the Wisdom Hunter’s devotional, “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” a couple of times and also forwarded it on to Boyd. Please know Beth, you are in our prayers as you walk through this challenging time. We rejoice in the fact that you know our Lord and Savior and trust in Him! As you so beautifully stated, “Our Good, Kind and Preciously Benevolent Shepherd pours his love and affection on me with assurance and words from the scriptures to comfort me”. Beth, those words are so true and comforting.
      So thankful for our Father who loves us so much and hears our cries.
      Praying for you, sister, and thanking our God for walking with you.
      Grateful for you.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”
      Psalm 27:1

      “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.”
      Isaiah 41:13


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