shepherd or owner?

20221201

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shepherd or owner?

Ezekiel 34:1-6 (JDV)

Ezekiel 34:1 The word of Yahveh happened to me. This is what it said:
Ezekiel 34:2 “Son of Adam, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Yahveh says to the shepherds: Tragedy to the shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed their flock?
Ezekiel 34:3 You eat the fat, wear the wool, and butcher the fattened animals, but you do not tend the flock.
Ezekiel 34:4 You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost. Instead, you have ruled them with violence and cruelty.
Ezekiel 34:5 They were scattered for lack of a shepherd; they became food for all the wild animals when they were scattered.
Ezekiel 34:6 My flock went astray on all the mountains and every high hill. My flock was scattered over the whole face of the land, and there was no one searching or seeking for them.

shepherd or owner?

The prophet predicted tragedy to the shepherds of Israel — but when the news of our Lord’s birth came in Bethlehem, it was to shepherds. Of course, the shepherds who hear the angelic proclamation were literal shepherds. But the shepherds to whom Ezekiel is preaching are not. They are rulers, prominent men — big shots.

The big shots had spent all their time using the sheep, eating their meat, wearing their wool — anything but tending to their needs. This is not what shepherds do. It is what the owners do — the shepherds’ employers. As a result, the flock went astray and was scattered.

God’s word to those of us today is to choose to act like a real shepherd, not like an owner. It is the only way to spare the flock from the tragedy to come.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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