Goats are a very important symbol in Scripture. In both Old and New Testaments they represent sin, shame, and punishment. And it seems once we pick up that goat, it’s hard to get rid of the stench—the guilt or weight of our choices. The truth is we’re all carrying goats around. It might be the goats of immorality or lying, of envy or pride. Whatever it is they represent in our life, they make it hard for us to come to God with confidence. But the gospel of Jesus Christ has the ability to turn you into another person and change the trajectory of your life. It is that powerful!
Numbers 6:24-26; I Samuel 10:3-6; Genesis 38; Judges 15:1; Romans 8:1; Luke 7:47
Types of Goats
1. The Goat of Deception. It’s hard to go to the house of God pretending to be something you are not. This goat represents a false image, lies, and secrecy. It is hard to worship when you smell like the aroma of hypocrisy or deception. It’s hard to get anything out of church when you carry the aroma of deception. It changes your focus from hope to condemnation.
2. The Goat of Jealousy. Joseph’s brothers tried to deceive their father into thinking that Joseph was dead. What a heavy weight those brothers carried for years all because of the goat of jealousy. Jealousy is an old goat that is as cruel as the grave. The goat of jealousy will take your worship and your freedom because of envy and comparison.
3. The Goat of Immorality. The aroma of the goat of immorality can come on anyone with one bad decision. Sin has consequences and it’s hard to worship when you carry the aroma of immorality. Purity, holiness, and separation matter.
4. The Goat of the Unequal Yoke. There is no compromise with your faith and when you marry or connect yourself to an unbeliever, you will carry the aroma of an unequal yoke. Samson in the scriptures is the classic example. It’s Jesus only. There is no other name under heaven by which a man or woman can be saved. The goat of the unequal yoke carries the smell of compromise.
Read the Proverbs to see the devastating effects of all the goats mentioned above. We have all carried each of these aromas at some point in our life. However, when we slip and fall, we have to take those goats and lay them at the feet of Jesus. Tie them to the cross. Confession and repentance are always available when we fall into sin. There is no condemnation at the feet of Jesus (Romans 8:1). Jesus died for our sins and His mercies are new every morning.
You do not realize how free you really are. There are consequences to sin, but you are never too condemned to come to the foot of the cross and receive forgiveness. Forgiveness is possible. Joy is possible. Forgiveness turns up your love for God because He sets you free. If you are carrying any one of these goats today, stop right where you are and let them go. Lay them at the feet of Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Grab hold of the communion meal and focus on His goodness and His great love for you and the price He paid. He paid it for you to set you free today.