A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Helaman 2)
In Helaman 2, the position of chief judge still stands vacant after the murder of the previous two chief judges in the previous chapter. Helaman is elected to fill the position, but a plot is immediately fashioned to murder him — the hit man, Kishkumen, is again hired to do the job.
However, as the planning proceeds, one of Helaman's servants somehow infiltrates the mob in disguise and learns the details of the plot. This servant offers to escort Kishkumen to the judgment seat to perform the murder but instead he kills Kishkumen en route and foils the plot.
In the above story, the assassination team is fooled by someone who dressed like them, spoke like them, and learned how to appear to be one of them. Of course, it was for a good cause in this case, but it nonetheless shows how someone pretending to be part of the team can derail an effort.
From our perspective as servants of God, we want to be careful that servants of the enemy don't infiltrate our team and try to derail our efforts. As Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew 7:15).
Don't miss the significance of this metaphor! The wolf is not just an animal that is different than a sheep — the wolf's goal is to eat the sheep! Therefore, the wolf is the last animal that the sheep want as part of their flock.
Although we clearly don't want to have a "wolf in sheep's clothing" in our midst, we also don't want to go around suspecting each other of not being a true member of the team. Jesus added to His above statement, "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16). Sooner or later, someone who is not really with us will do something that shows their true colors. Even if they don't, the Lord knows who is who. He will separate His servants from the enemy's servants at the end as described in the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:25-40.
Rather than worrying about what others are doing or not doing, let's focus on being true servants of God ourselves. It's not about dressing for a role — it's who we are "inwardly" that's important. Here's a favorite story of mine that illustrates this point:
As the story goes, some executives in an oil company were concerned about the future of their industry since college students were showing no interest in going into the field of geology. The executives became aware of a geology professor who happened to be a very charismatic speaker so they decided to hire him to go from one university to another to speak to the students and inspire them to choose geology as a field of study. They provided a limousine and a chauffeur to drive him from one school to another.
After several months of this, they were driving to another school one day when the chauffeur said to the professor, "You know, life isn't fair. You make a high salary for giving that same speech over and over. I've heard that speech so many times that I can deliver it the same way and yet, I only get paid to be a chauffeur." Being a good sport, the professor replied, "OK, at this next school, let's switch clothes — you give the speech and I'll be the chauffeur and sit in the back of the room."
Dressed like the professor, the chauffeur gave a great speech and received a standing ovation at the end. Proud of himself, he started to walk off the stage, but the university president stopped him and said, "Wait, we still have a few minutes, so I'd like to allow some time for questions from the students."
Confirming the chauffeur's worst fear, a student came to the microphone and asked, "If you were out in the desert, what would be the pH of the soil three strata below the surface of the earth?"
The chauffeur thought for a minute and then replied, "You know that's actually a very easy question. Just to show you how easy it is, I'm going to have my chauffeur come forward from the back of the room to answer that for you."
As the above story illustrates, it's not enough to appear to be a servant of God; we have to BE a servant of God! I don't think any of us are wolves in sheep's clothing. However, is the fruit we are bringing forth indicative of a servant of God? If not, we can still hurt the effort. Let's examine our hearts — who we are on the inside — and strive to bring forth the good fruit, whether thirtyfold, sixtyfold or a hundredfold.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.