10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12 And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. (Genesis 31:10-12)
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:16)
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (Revelation 7:9)
Genesis 30 tells the story of Jacob and Laban’s ongoing feud and continual scheming—each trying to get the upper hand on the other. Jacob suggests they can differentiate their flocks if they agree to let Laban claim all of the goats that are white, and Jacob will get all the goats that are black, speckled, or spotted. It doesn’t really matter that there’s no scientific basis for the idea that goats who mate in front of spotted poplar branches will give birth to spotted goats. What really matters is that God prospered Jacob. He blessed Jacob because He had promised to, and also because He had seen all that Laban had done to cheat him (Gen. 31:12).
Now, maybe I’m reading into the text here, but I have to wonder if this speckled, spotted, mottled, black, brown, off-white flock is also a prophetic picture of God’s kingdom. For a long time, the church in America tried its best to be an all-white flock. But that was never God’s intention. Jesus came to create one flock for himself. It would be made up of both Jews and Gentiles. This is what He meant when He told His disciples “I have other sheep that are not of this fold” (John 10:16). And one day, there will be a multitude from every tribe, tongue, and nation standing before the throne. Red and yellow, black and white. Streaked and spotted, blemished and mottled. There will be one flock, with one shepherd.
Oh Lord, haste the day.