Caleb’s Lamb by Helen Santos is one of the greatest gems in our collection of children’s stories.
Scripture is full of sheep and shepherd imagery: we, the sheep, and Jesus, our Great Shepherd who leads us.
Through the mountains and fields with Asher The Shepherd and his flock; and Caleb, Asher’s aspiring shepherd-son and his precious lamb, Isaac, the author gives us deeper insight into the characteristics of sheep, and the tender, but necessarily firm love of a good shepherd.
The story takes place during the time of Moses, before the Lord delivers His people from the hand of Pharaoh. After 400 years of bondage to the Egyptians, Caleb witnesses the devastation of each plague the Lord sends to punish Pharaoh for hardening his heart and refusing to let the Israelites go.
On the night before their long-expected deliverance from the land of Goshen, every family in Egypt must kill a male lamb, without blemish, paint its blood on their doorposts, and eat its meat as they sit with their staffs in hand, ready to leave in the middle of the night as soon as they receive the signal to do so. Any house that does not have blood on the doorposts will be visited by the Angel of Death who will take the lives of all firstborn sons.
Caleb is a firstborn son. So is his father.
Isaac, Caleb’s dear, spotless yearling, is the only type of lamb that would qualify as a suitable sacrifice, and enable the Angel of Death to pass over their house without destruction.
“How can the blood of a lamb save us from death?” is the question Caleb finds himself asking, and one Helen so beautifully answers.
There are rich parallels to the truths of the Gospel on every page, woven into a story that flows well and is a delight to read aloud to boys and girls of every age.
I’d recommend Caleb’s Lamb to every family.