Reading Ezekiel 34:1-31 this morning (Yeah, strange, huh? But that’s where the reading list sent me.)
First the Lord condemns BAD SHEPHERDS of Israel: those who reap the wool, milk/curds, and meat of their flocks for themselves, not caring for the animals – neither the good ones nor the sick and weak ones, not looking for the lost lambs, letting the wolves get them.
Next the chapter talks about BAD SHEEP. Yep, you heard me. The verses describe them as “fat” sheep (as opposed to the “lean” ones).
~~~They eat their fill of green pastures, then tramp the rest of the grass down so nothing is left for the others.
~~~They drink their fill from cool, clear, still waters, then walk all through it to muddy it for the other sheep.
~~~They push and shove and butt each other to get the best for themselves.
MEAN, huh? Surely there can’t be any of those in the Lord’s congregation!
The last third of the chapter speaks of the Sovereign Lord himself as the GOOD SHEPHERD taking care of the sheep, feeding them and letting them lie down in green pastures beside cool still water, binding up the weak and lame, searching for the lost ones and bringing them home.
Reminds me of Psalm 23 (shepherd & sheep)
And of Jesus in John 10:7-16 (the Good Shepherd)
And, on third thought, also of 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 and 33-34 (bad sheep)
DO SOME READING IN THE BIBLE TODAY about sheep and their caretakers – you will be blessed indeed. (click on the above references)