When God Opposes The Shepherds
Serving themselves instead of their flocks
October 18, 2009 "Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy
and say to those shepherds, "Thus says the LORD God, "Woe,
shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves! Should not
the shepherds feed the flock?" "
Shepherds were responsible for their flocks. It was an exacting
calling. They were to protect the sheep, retrieve those who
strayed, and were held accountable to their masters when they
failed. They were to be devoted, selfless, and strong. Young David
met all those requirements (Cf. I Samuel 17:33-37). He had the
heart of a lion and the people loved him for it. And so did God.
The Bible makes it clear that these same characteristics and
expectations applied not only to sheep herders in the wilderness,
but also to political and spiritual leaders, to kings and
governors and those in authority.
Homer and other secular writers frequently called kings and
governors 'shepherds.' Jehovah God was referred to as the
"Shepherd of Israel," and Jesus Christ as "The Great Shepherd."
When Shepherds fail their calling
Shepherds - whether spiritual or political - who serve themselves
instead of those they are shepherding, are dealt with severely by
God. In Ezekiel 34 the LORD held them responsible and accountable
for selfishly ensuring their own well being before that of their
flocks, for profiting at their expense and ignoring their
condition. God judged them for it. He said,
"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." Ezekiel 34:10 KJV
The leaders of Israel and Judah, both priests and kings, and those
who were to serve the people, had become corrupt, and were under
judgment. In the New Testament Jesus called them hirelings.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the
sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does
not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and
flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The
hireling flees because he is a hireling, and does not care about
the sheep." John 10:11-13 KJV A word for our day
While the God of heaven through the prophet Ezekiel was referring
to the misguided, ungodly leadership of Israel's kings, princes,
authorities and priests, His warning is immutable, unchangeable,
unalterable, and remains true for our elected and non elected
officials and those pastors of our day who serve themselves and
ensure their well being before the well being of their flocks. It
applies to those political leaders who care more for the approval
of their peers than of God, for the security of their pensions,
than doing what is right, no matter what the cost. It applies to
pastors and all who hold leadership in our seminaries, colleges
and Christian organizations who go along to get along instead of
standing firm on the eternal truths of Scripture.
Those who will not, as David, fight for their sheep with courage,
determination, and faith in God, but leave them to wander and
become prey to the cultural "beasts of the field", while they play
it safe, will be judged harshly.
Americans Christians - at the hands of both our spiritual and
political leaders - have become as those who are lost, weak,
broken, and who wander from place to place without a shepherd, not
knowing the truth about who they really are in Christ, as kings
and priests of the most high God, nor their citizenship
responsibility on earth as Ambassadors of the King of kings. And
thus it follows, that we are like sheep for the slaughter, ill
prepared prey for the ravening wolves around us.
Heavenly Father, have mercy on us. We and our leaders have sinned.
We are like dumb sheep, easily led astray, easily deceived, and
lost without a Shepherd. You and You alone are the Good Shepherd.
Turn our hearts, and the hearts of our earthly shepherds back to
You as the only deliverance from the hirelings who fleece the
sheep for personal gain. May we cease our wandering amongst the
promises of this world and return to You. Deliver us, our
children, and our children's children from this lost and
rebellious world and all it's allurements. Restore our faith in
You, Your Word, and Your Dear Son. Renew our minds with the truth.
Set us free to walk in the newness of Life you bring to our weary
souls. Ignite within us a renewed desire to proclaim Your Name
above every name, and the way of salvation that You and You alone
have provided through Your shed blood. Come quickly LORD Jesus,
but until You come, may we occupy with boldness, by the power of
the Holy Spirit within our breasts. May we exalt and honor You in
all we say and do to the Glory of God in Christ Jesus, Your Dear
Son. It is in His Name, and His Name alone that we pray, Amen.
"For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the LORD so
cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and
Safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon
a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
I Thessalonians 5:2-3 KJV
The Restore America e-newsletters are free. You may unsubscribe
using the "Safe Unsubscribe" link below. Please consider a gift of
$25 or more in support of our efforts to Restore America "Under
God". Restore America is a non-profit by-faith ministry to the
Body of Christ and as such, we are dependent upon the financial
support of our readers. All contributions are tax deductible.
Please support this ministry as we call America's Christians to
our citizenship role as moral and ethical leaders, in our homes,
our churches, our communities, and in all levels of civil
About Restore America What we believe Our Mission Help us achieve