“When the Son of Man will come in all His Glory, with all the angels accompanying Him, He will take His place on the throne in Heavenly Glory. All the nations will gather before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right hand while the goats on the left.”’Matthew:25:31
In Christianity, the goat symbolizes demonic forces, evil men, stubborn oppressors and unrepentant sinners. In our lifetime we have been the goat and the sheep often alternating between the two. Regardless of our failing spiritual progress, we all have a goat in our lives. This goat is stubborn often unwilling to change its mind even with the truth laid out before them.
We’ve all encountered that one person who when you show them the truth willfully choose the lie. Yes, you’ve given them the evidence on a plate and they still display a preference for their version of how the event unfolded. Hardened hearts are not easily softened.
In the case of Moses scripture tells us that 10 times Pharaoh hardened his own heart and 10 times God hardened it on purpose. Why? To display his glory and use Pharaoh to that end. St.Paul doesn’t go into too much detail in the book of Romans on this subject. However, Paul does explain that God used Pharaoh for his glory just as he used those whom he chose to show mercy upon. Saint Paul says Pharaoh was born and destined to be used.
Think about it for a moment. . . Moses was brought up in royalty. He had been educated in the best schooling system of the day, given prestigious titles and enjoyed the freedom of not being a slave. Do you think such circumstances had been lucky and without a Divine cause? Not at all. Although many suffered under the stubborn rule of the Pharaoh, salvation was coming.
Pharaoh had seen all these miracles and 10 times he willfully chose to ignore them. When we are refused an audience with someone or say no to a seemingly righteous proposal, we become upset. It’s difficult to think of oneself as a shadow of a great prophet like Moses at that moment, isn’t it? We hear people say, “It wasn’t Gods will this should take place.” And because see ourselves as a mere grain of sand in an ocean of people around the globe, we don’t think God has a Divine plan for us but he does.
These goats in our lives exist to glorify the Lord. Even though they be headed for destruction through their actions goats are necessary for spiritual training. Without the goat, there can be no opportunity to practice humility and patience. Have you ever seen somebody purposefully lead a person into a trap? They make sure the trap is really good and drag it out for a while until they suddenly pounce on the person who assumes they’ve won the day? Why? It’s more painful for them and the person who devised the trap appears all the more glorious.
That’s the way it was for Pharaoh. God allowed him to become more entangled in his web of stubborn incredulity until he was satisfied the time had been right to swallow him up in the red sea. Pharaoh was like a giant zit on a teenager’s face by the time he exploded and expired into nothingness at the hands of the Lord.
I tell people this is what the end times are like. Have you not noticed that the previous generation are always less evil than the next? Evil is growing every 100 years. . . swelling up like that Zit we just talked about. Soon, God will come and pop that giant bubble of ugly goo with his justice. Just when the world has thought it has won that’s when we will see the Lord’s glory.
It’s like a police sting operation where they set up a drug dealer. The drug dealer is allowed to walk around town acting how he likes seemingly oblivious to the watchful eye of the FBI monitoring his every move. They sit and wait until they’ve compiled enough evidence to hang him. Then when he’s in his car and thinks his life is complete that’s when they pounce on him. That’s how it will be for this generation of spiritual drug dealers getting high on sin and selling the drug of worldly pleasure to others.
This is why we should try our best not to be worried about the goat in our lives who constantly says “no” to us or behaves unjustly. If we convince ourselves that God is using that person for his own end life becomes easier.
Think of yourself as an innocent bystander in the police forces attempt to catch a thief. When the thief is robbing your store you are very much afraid and stressed out. If on the other hand you’re aware that there’s a crowd of police behind the door ready to pounce on him you’re not so stressful anymore because you know that while the thief is loading the money into his little sack and thinks he’s got away with it, he’s not going to get beyond that door.
This awareness of such a presence cultivates within you a certain type of calm. You’re still stressed but not as stressed as you would be if you didn’t know those cops were ready to pounce on him. In the spiritual life, we must learn how to be that innocent bystander aware of Gods presence.
God is there, behind the door with his army of angels. He sees the Bishop, priest, politician or your persecutor throwing their weight around the store. He allows it to grow to such dangerous levels and there’s no way they’re going to make it because God will take them down just when they think they’ve gotten away with it.
Be like that and a certain type of calm will wash over you knowing that in the end, God always wins and people who behave like this trying to thwart his plans are fist fighting the hurricane that will swallow them whole when least expected.
Believe me when I say that such a request is hard even for me to fulfil. We are all in this messy world together and there’s not one of us who do not feel frustrated with the decision-making process of another.
Why does God let Pharaoh have all the power? Why does God allow this godless president to rule our country and get voted in? Why does God allow this Bishop with a difficult personality to be ordained and cause havoc throughout his diocese? These are the questions that will always go unanswered because the Will and Divinity of God are beyond the mind of Man.
When we try to answer them we only pull God down to our human way of thinking because that’s all we know. “God is evil, that’s why he does it”. We think like this because we are evil and so we see people – even God – as we are. Why? Because our minds are limited to what lies within time and space, to all we’ve ever known to be true.
My poor advice would be to allow yourself to be a Gods puppet because one day he’ll cut the strings and you’ll be free of this world. Better to be the puppet whom he has shown mercy to than the one whom he’ll cast into the fire to be burnt, right? Let the Bishop ram his horns into you and play the goat all he wants because when the Lord gets a hold of him, he’ll be another skull in the road that paves the way to Hell like many before him.
Of what use is the goat if you are one? Deal with the goat you are that you may be capable of dealing with the goat they are. Do this otherwise you’ll ram your horns into each other and become friends on the same road to hellfire. Once you’ve done that, although it is far from easy and temper tantrums will be thrown, you will recover and recognize Gods Divine hand in all of it. Fight it, and you’ll end up fighting God and risk losing your soul in the process for lack of patience.