Thanks to the Presidential campaign, America is weighing the importance of what a “Pastor” preaches every Sunday and how much of it registers or impacts the life of congregants? Since Jesus taught the primary parable of the whole New Testament was the “sower sows the word,” how much of what is sown every Sunday can we expect to come up as first a blade and then an ear and then the full corn in the ear. Was Jesus blowing smoke or did He mean what He said? If Jesus meant what He said, what should we be doing about it? The importance of where we go to church is determined by what food or lack of it is offered there – seed sown comes up!
Ezekiel 34 warns of counterfeit shepherds whose chief attitude is they feed themselves first, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: ‘Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?’’” A failure to biblically feed the flock brings God’s judgment.
The command of God is to heal the sick and bind up the broken but apparently there is more money to be made by preaching another gospel according to verse 4, “The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.” What penalty should these shepherds pay?
In verse 10 God says, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.” Oh, that such judgment would fall quickly!
Perhaps one of the greatest intercessions to be uttered in this season is that God would execute the judgment written in verses 16 and 17. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment. And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.’” Could we use a double dose of this or what?
Any church that gets a steady diet of racism and hate will reproduce racism and hate. Jesus warned the disciples in Matthew 16:6-12 “‘Take heed and beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have taken no bread.’ But when Jesus perceived it, He said to them, ‘O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? but you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
We know that judgment begins in the house of the Lord and it seems Ezekiel 34 shepherds may be the necessary place to start if we are to save a nation! May God deliver His people from Ezekiel 34 shepherds who knowingly perpetuate their dysfunction in order to profit from keeping them on the reservation.