I will be discussing Ezekiel 34:2-31 from the King James Version. This is a message for leaders of countries, churches and organisations, as is seen at the beginning of the piece. We read in verse two that God is addressing “the shepherds” who “feed themselves.” God are asking leaders the question, “should not the shepherds feed the flocks?”
We look at most of the leaders around the world today, and we can see the truth in their description in the Word. They 3- “eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock” (verse 3). Adding to that, verse 4-“The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” Leaders are seeking power and self-actualization in various ways, and act as hirelings, just doing the work for the money, not caring for the sheep at all (John 10:13). James said that, “Are any among you sick?They should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord. This prayer made in faith will heal the sick; the Lord will restore them to health, and the sins they have committed will be forgiven“(James 5:14-15, NIV). Leaders live as if they will not be held accountable for the people that they have to govern and look after. But just the opposite is true.
What are required from our leaders then? As we study John 21, Jesus told Peter , who was going to become a leader, three times to “feed my lambs/sheep” (John 21:15-17). It isn’t just a spiritual feeding, but also a physical act.
Feeding also gives sheep (us) a sense of security. When that security is broken we see that sheep will scatter (verse 5). When the leaders fail in protecting the people, the people flee to make a better living. Examples of this is the greater numbers of immigration and refugees we see around the world today. But when they arrive in foreign countries, people become more vulnerable. In other words “they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered” (verse 5).
As I look around me in the world we are living in today, I see more people lost, and alone. Jesus said, “...if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray” (Matthew 18:12-13,KJV). As we learn about the apostles works we see them going out to see and meet with the people. However, we cannot say the same for churches today. People, when in need of council, need to go to the church, and feel that they aren’t cared for or supported. Hence, people are frustrated and experience hopelessness, leaving the church in search of belonging.
My husband and I recently left our church family, for we decided we don’t feel the Holy Spirit moving there. I know that we bring the Holy Spirit with us. But my experienced was that our church focused more on their performance on stage, than guiding people to Christ. They also done away with the Holy Communion. I remember in times gone by that the church would make an effort at least approach members, to council and guide them back to their community. Instead, (verse 6)- “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.”
Jesus said, “but if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican” (Matthew 18:16-17 KJV). Now I must admit that I only wrote a letter (in lockdown), letting them know my grievance and telling them of my confusion. Shocked I was to get an immediate reply, stating they are sorry for losing me. Guess I needed those two or three witnesses after all?
God has a warning to any leader of a church, organisation or country, stating, “behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them” (verse 10).
The promise of restoration that God makes to us, is that He will:
- Verse 11- “I will both search my sheep, and seek them out.“
- Verse 12- “will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. “
- Verse 13-“will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. “
- Verse 14-“I will feed them in a good pasture”
- Verse 15-“I will cause them to lie down”
- Verse 16-“…will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick”
The above is surely something to look forward to. But God warns those who leads and have imbibed in the extravagance along with these leaders who have done wrong. We read in verse 16-“but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.” Because He will, “… judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats” (Verse 17). Because in seeing and going along with the leaders, you made the life of the rest of the herd harder. Verse 18-“Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 19-And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.”
This will take place on the cloudy and dark day, as described in Ezekiel 30:3 (KJV), “For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day: it shall be the time of the heathen.” A heathen is ‘a person who does not belong to a widely held religion.’ Judgement then will come upon them as Revelations 14:16 (KJV) explains, “And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth: and the earth was reaped.” Jesus said that, “… whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Matthew 18:5-7 KJV).
We will then enter into the new Kingdom that John elaborated upon in Revelations 21. And Jesus will be set up as “shepherd over them, and he shall feed them“(23), “ And I the Lord will be their God” (24), and “I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods” (25). People will experience blessings and trees will give bountiful fruit again, and we will live in safety. No more fear of being robbed, raped, murdered or dying of hunger, pestilence and wars. Because “...they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God . And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God “(verse 30-31).
My prayer for you today is that you will turn your hearts to Jesus. Let Him guide you in truth. Let He convict your spirit in doing right. Repent of your sins, and He will forgive you, for He is a loving God. #GodCanDoThis