Like Jesus, the children of Israel were also shepherds and like most shepherds they preferred their sheep to be spotless because they had more resale and shearing value. Speckled and spotted sheep were looked down upon. However, in the story of Jacob God used the speckled and spotted sheep to bless him. You may be familiar with the story, if not here’s a quick recap:
When Jacob fled from his brother Esau after he tricked him out of his blessing he went to live with his uncle Laban in search of a wife and to bide his time until Esau cooled off. Jacob saw Rachel, Laban’s younger daughter at the well as soon as he arrived. They fell for each other immediately. As soon as he got settled he asked Laban if he could marry her and Laban said yes. After Jacob worked seven years as the marriage price for Rachel, on the day of their wedding Laban tricked him into marry Leah first. He worked seven more years so he could marry Rachel. He worked fourteen years in all for Laban who continually tricked him out of his fair wages. After fourteen years Jacob wanted to leave but Laban wanted him to stay because Jacob’s blessing had come on everything Laban owned and he was prospering. The only problem was Jacob had nothing to show for it.
When Jacob finally confronted Laban about leaving he begged him to stay, offering to pay him anything he wanted. Jacob refused. All he asked for was “the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats” as his wages. Laban agreed because he believed they were the weak among the flock and would never bring an increase. But because God’s favor and blessing was on Jacob, most of the sheep turned speckled and spotted supernaturally and Jacob’s flocks increased as Laban’s decreased. (You can read the full story in Genesis, chapters 29 and 30)
Like the speckled sheep of Jacob’s flock, your differences don’t make you less valuable, even if some people seem to think so. God delights in uncommon beauty and often saves his best blessings for those who possess it so that people will look again at what they rejected.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28
Like the Shulamite woman in the Song on Solomon who was beautiful in the eyes of the Beloved, though others looked down on her because of her dark skin, the Lord thinks you’re beautiful in your own skin.
I am dark and beautiful, O women of Jerusalem— dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents. Don’t stare at me because I am dark— the sun has darkened my skin. Song of Solomon 1:5-6
How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Song of Solomon 1:15
Beloved, maybe you have spots or speckles, maybe you’re darker than most. Maybe your beauty is different than what popular culture has defined. Don’t let that get you down. Know that God has a special plan for you.