In 2005, townspeople in Gevas, Turkey, watched in horror as one sheep jumped to its death, and then 1,500 others followed over the same cliff. When the villagers, whose livelihoods depended on the flock, reached the bottom of the mountain, they found a billowy white pile of death. Some 450 sheep were lost, but amazingly 1,000 survived. As the pile grew, the dead bodies cushioned the fall of other sheep.
How did this accident happen? The shepherds responsible for protecting the flock had left the sheep on the mountain to eat breakfast, and then the fleeces started to fly.
The importance of a shepherd is inversely proportional to the intelligence of the animal being shepherded. Dogs, for example, manage to survive fairly well without human oversight. Dolphins do even better. Sheep, on the other hand, don't have the good sense not to jump off a cliff. They need a shepherd to survive.
The fact that Scripture compares God's people to sheep ought to humble us. We need godly shepherds to lead, feed, ...