Scripture often pairs sheep with goats when talking about people in the church. How are goats different from sheep?
Goats will eat anything they can find; clothes off a line, dog food (a favorite), toys, grass, vegetables, cardboard. They will chew on and taste just about everything, and often swallow it as well. They prefer the new spring tips of woody shrubs and trees, but will even eat some toxic plants.
We all know people like that, always trying out new ideas and new relationships. They have an off-with-the-old and on-to-the-new way of thinking. Some of those new ideas are poison to the soul. These goats look full and rich, but in the end is life without God and hell.
Goats are extremely curious and intelligent, easily trained and known for escaping pens. They test fences and will climb on or push through barriers.
Some people want to try everything. They feel trapped by rules meant to protect them from harm. They’ll listen and be trained by a devil. They rebel and push away any restraint in order to experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex, crime, whatever appeals at the moment. Sometimes they suffer the consequences. Often they cause all those around them to suffer as well.
Goats spread out rather than stay together like sheep. They seldom feed side-by-side. Nannies (female goats) often desert their kids. Goats fight, butt, rut, make lot of noise, have turf wars, play favorites with their kids or desert them. Alpha females run the flock only allowing the males to join them in order to rut.
Hmmm. I could name a few politicians that fit that description. A few church leaders as well.
I’d rather be a sheep grazing in the pastures of the Lord than be a goat browsing and nibbling the chaff Satan feeds his flock.