Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday - Ezekiel 34 - Irresponsible Watchmen

N Ezekiel 33, we read an extraordinarily clear description of what a watchman (we called him a crier) is supposed to do. Ezekiel was a good watchman. In Ezekiel 34, we are introduced to a whole band of very bad watchmen. Here they are called shepherds. We know that a shepherd is supposed to be compassionate and devoted to the sheep of his flock. These pastors were not that. They were devoted only to themselves.  These men used their people as a resource to take care of themselves, rather than using the resources that God had given them to take care of His people.

The evil pastors of Ezekiel's day were forceful and cruel. They did not seek for the lost. They scattered the flock. In fact, in Ezekiel 34:10 we find God describing the pastors in Israel as consumers of the sheep rather than them being the ones giving sustenance to the sheep (as God designed). Essentially, we are being taught here that self-centeredness and self-aggrandizement have absolutely no place in the heart of any of God's ministers.

Notice that God's feelings toward the pastors were very harsh and judgmental.  But, his empathy for the sheep is strong and deep. "I will search for my sheep and seek for them.  I will deliver them and gather them.  I will feed them in good pastures. I will help the sick and the broken." These were the promises which God volunteered. And, of course, when the Messiah (called "David" here) came, He did just exactly these things.

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