The Shepherds and God's Flock

Friday, January 14th

Ezekiel 34:1-16
34 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 
 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them.
“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.
The Good Shepherd
11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!

Questions to Consider:

Q.2: Is there any example for me to follow or not to follow?
Q.5: is there any warning for me to heed?

Topic: The Shepherds and God's Flock

Read vs.1-10 again and identify God's charges against the shepherd's of His people. Find out also from there what they should have done. Sheep are totally dependent on their shepherds for provision and protection. Without their care the sheep are at the mercy of wild animals. They go astray and become lost. Hence God's declaration that He will take over the responsibility of shepherding His flock (vs.11-16). Note all that God promised to do for His flock and see how they are fulfilled in the Chief Shepherd of the sheep (John 10:11-18,27-29).

Underscoring the importance of Christian leaders taking good care of their flocks, Christ charged Apostle Peter three times to feed and tend his flock (John 21:15-18). 
We must examine ourselves and ensure that we meet God's expectations of us as Christian leaders (Acts 20:28-30; 1Peter 5:1-4). We must return to holistic ministry of caring for the flocks especially those who are weak and hurting (vs.12,16).

Reflection: Are you a hireling or a compassionate shepherd?

Prayer: Help us, dear Lord, to follow your example and take good care of those you have called us to lead.

Genesis 22,23, Hebrews 11:13-39

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