Today the Lord God has a word for the shepherds of Israel, the folks who are supposed to guiding and watching over Israel. … you know…like a shepherd watches over his folk, leading them to good place to eat, keeping them safe from the wild animals that threaten them and such like. The shepherds of Israel have been remiss in their duties. God asks them.
Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
The shepherds have been so busy feeding themselves and minding their own concerns that they have stopped caring for those in their charge.
- slaughter the fat ones
- do not feed the sheep
- do not strengthen the week
- Clothes themselves with wool
- Do not seek those the stray
- The lost are not looked for
- in fact, they treat their sheep so harsh and with such force the sheep have scattered.
The sheep indeed have become food for the wild things that surround them.
3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts.
God’s complaint against the shepherds is this: My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.
7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my
sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the
wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have
not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and
have not fed my sheep,
God’s response: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
Do you hear that?
God is going to rescue his people from this improper care.
Ah…hearing those words is a comfort you know?
Especially when we are in the process of trying to find a new church home while hubby looks for a new job. Having gone to two churches and finding fluff presented to us from the pulpit and wondering…how are people being fed? How are they being cared for?
And today I find God telling me that he does mind his scattered people, he does care for us and watch out for us, disciplining the shepherds, providing for the needs of his people.
It’s a comfort to know.
SOMETIMES we have to be patient… God allows a situation sometimes to fester for a while. But he does watch, he does mind, and he will act.