This entry is part 19 of 28 in the series Devotionals

Matthew 25:32-33 BSB says, “…He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.” 

In the Bible, God uses the goat to imply evil. Goats have many worthy qualities. They are intelligent, sensitive, playful, quick to respond to individual attention and affection, but they are also impulsive,unpredictable, deceitful and contrary. A goat will ram and butt-head another goat if given the opportunity. Goats are very demanding. If they stay in their pasture, its because they want to be there. Goat will stand on their hind legs, stretching for tender leaves that they are not able to reach. They are usually never content with what they have. They always prefer to lead or to go off on their own. Goats are not very good followers. 

Sheep, on the other hand, are described as innocent, mild, submissive, and patient. The sheep, in the Bible, ran up to the hands of the shepherd with signs of pleasure and with a prompt obedience. Sheep, however, are directionless. They are prone to wander and get lost. They don’t fight well at all. They can’t move very fast, so they are defenseless, if they are left to themselves. Sheep always need a shepherd to care for them, to lead and guide them in the right way to go.

The characteristics found in goats are not the characteristics that should be found in a believer. While Christians, with “goat-like“ characteristics can, indeed, perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose – to honor and worship God.

Although all of us have “goat characteristics” from time-to time, Christ already told us in the word of God what the end of goats will be. As believers, we must be sure that we are moving in the right direction. Stubbornness, pride, and wanting our own independence will sidetrack us. Let’s be sure that we are following the Great Shepherd, peacefully moving onward with His flock. 

Christ has warned us. The goats will be on His left side, their punishment will be an everlasting punishment, and their status cannot be changed. The time for us to choose whether to be on the Lord’s left side or His right side is now. Life and death, good and evil, blessings and curses, are set before us. The choice we make depends on our obedience to His Word. Whichever side we chose as our way, so shall our end be.

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