I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. (Ezekiel 34:16)
Text: Ezekiel 31-34; Psalm 128-129
In Ezekiel 34, the Lord takes up the matter of poor leadership among the nation of Israel. He uses the imagery of the shepherd here, and blasts the rulers for being selfish and neglecting their responsibilities. As a pastor, I have to say the indictments make me wince; “You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.” (Ezekiel 34:3-4). Our English word, “pastor” comes from the Latin for “shepherd.” The pastors in our churches are humans, and they falter, fail and sin. It would be a scary proposition if our welfare depended only upon human leadership. But – Good News! The Lord Himself will see to it that His sheep are properly cared for. He says:
I have two prayer requests for you. First, pray for pastors – that they might be fully equipped and strengthened by the Lord to be God’s faithful “under shepherds.” And pray for the sheep, God’s people, that we will receive and accept the Lord’s good hand as our Great Shepherd.
in Him, Mike