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When God Opposes The Shepherds

Serving themselves instead of their flocks

Restore America

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?" "

Ezekiel 34:1-2 

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

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