Those Hungry, Thirsty Sheep and Camels of God

Genesis 24:10-20

Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”

So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

My camels are so thirsty —


Windy, ain’t it?



Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

My sheep are so hungry —


A sheep is stranded in the desert dying of thirst. As she crawls along the sand, she sees a few dim shapes on the horizon. When she gets closer, she realizes they’re market stalls. She goes to the first stall and asks for water. “Sorry, mate,” the shopkeep says, “We only sell jelly with broken biscuit in it.”

She crawls along to the second stall and asks for water again. This one only sells cold custard.

She inches forward to the final stall. “Please — water,” she whispers. “Ooh, worse luck,” the shopkeeper says, “we’ve only got whipped cream.”

The sheep cries out in agony. “What manner of market is this, that has jelly and crumbled biscuits, cold custard, and whipped cream, and no water?”

Third stallholder says, “Yeah, it’s a trifle bizarre, innit?”

A carpenter has to get a sheep, a camel, and a sack of brides for Isaac across a well. He can only safely transport one of them over the water at a time. If he leaves the brides with the camel, the brides will over-water them. If he leaves the sheep with the camel, the sheep will eat the camel. If he leaves the sheep and the brides together, then Simon Peter will feel left out. How can he get everyone across the well safely?

Jesus and a friend are hanging on a cross. Jesus says, “Did I remember to feed the sheep before I left this morning?”

Rebecca said, I’m sorry, I really just wanted to see your camels. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m sure your boss’ son is a great guy, but I just never get to see camels at home, so this is a pretty big deal for me. Thanks for letting me see the camels, though! Thank you so much!

And Jesus said, Do you love me, Simon Peter?

And Simon Peter said You know I do.

And Jesus said, Are you hungry?

And Simon Peter said, I could eat.

And Jesus said, Did you remember to feed the sheep before we left?

And Simon Peter said, I fed the sheep.

And Jesus said, Do you love me?

And Simon Peter said I could eat.

And Jesus said, Do you love my sheep?

And Simon Peter said I could eat.

And Jesus said, Will you feed my sheep when I’m out of town next weekend?

Which was the first Simon Peter had heard Jesus say anything about a trip — to be honest it felt a little weird that he’d mention it so casually right after all the “do you love me” talk — like had he just said it to grease the wheels for a request? That wasn’t really like him, but maybe sheep were a bigger deal in Bethlehem than Simon Peter had realized, or something, maybe it was just a politeness thing, or something. Whatever. What were a few sheep in the balance of love? But on the other hand, Simon Peter was hungry too. What were a few sheep when a lover hungers?

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