Unfaithful Shepherds and the Lost Sheep
Shepherds of Israel – those responsible for giving leadership, civil and spiritual leaders. The people went away from God as the shepherds failed to give them the needed care.
God was speaking to them through prophet Ezekiel.
Woe to the shepherds who only take care of themselves. Eze.34:2. Godly shepherds must serve more for the benefits of the flock than their own benefits. A Godly Shepherd feeds God’s sheep by faithfully teaching them God’s word. (Isa.55:1,2; Jer.3:15; Jn.21:15-17; Heb.5:12-14; 1 Pet.2:2.)
A. What the shepherds took from the sheep. Eze.34:3.
a. You eat the curds.
b. Clothe yourself with the wool.
c. Slaughter the choice animals.
It wasn’t wrong for the Shepherd to make his living from the flock but they should faithfully take care of them and feed them. They have the right to be supported by those they serve.( 1 Cor.9:7-14; 1 Tim.5:17,18.) Ungodly shepherds exploit the sheep for their benefits without taking care of them.
B.Complaints against the shepherds. Eze.34:4.
- You have not strengthened the weak. By giving them spiritual food or teaching or by taking care of them.
- You have not healed the sick. By giving them medicine. Otherwise they could die of spiritual sickness.
- You have not bound up the injured. The open injury can cause infection and lead to death.
- You have not brought back the strayed. They could get lost. They could be eaten by wild animals.
- You have not searched for the lost. Not concerned about them.
C.How the shepherds treated the sheep. Eze.34:4.
- You have ruled over them harshly and brutally. No love and care. Master vs slave treatment. Godly shepherds will not lead with force, coercion, manipulation, threats, anger or other forms of cruelty. Mathew. 20:25-28 is what Jesus taught about it.
D.What happened to the sheep under false shepherds Eze.34:5,6.
- Sheep were scattered. 34:5. Nobody to give pastoral care to them.
- Sheep became food to all the wild animals. 34:5. People lost in the world following the world, many lost faith in God and some started following other gods. Many got addicted to alcohol, drugs,..or are running after money and worldly things.
- Sheep wandered over all the mountains and high hills. 34:6. They forget where they belong to.
- Sheep were scattered over the whole earth and no one searched or looked for them. 34:6. Ungodly shepherds are least bothered about the lost and never search for them.
When sheep(church) gets good spiritual nourishment and care, it keeps growing and multiplies. Otherwise it gets weaker and weaker.
What is the spiritual condition of the sheep- Christians today?
Today, can we see shepherds- spiritual leaders who take care of themselves and not the sheep?
As leaders in different roles in the church or outside, do we see any shepherding role in our life?
How can we be a good shepherd for the sheep under our care? Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gave His life…