Thoughts About Shepherds
2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Who are the shepherds?
The priest and the scribes.
The King and his princes.
3 "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock.
They only took care of what was in it for them.
They did not care about the flock.
They did not lead the flock to the right kind of nourishment.
4 "The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.
They should have been guiding the people to serve God better.
They did not even seek out the sheep that were astray.
5 "So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.
Without proper guidance, the people are left to their own imaginations, and will follow any and every doctrine out there.
6 "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them."
They have no foundation and no instruction so they blindly go.
Those in the church are to seek for them who are lost or astray, and guide them back to God.
7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
God is about to speak to them.
They had better be paying attention.
8 "as I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock"
God is ready to tell them the results of their actions and the harm that it cause His people.
9 'therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD!
He said this back in v.7
He explained what they had done back in v. 8.
Now God is going to render His judgment upon them.
This is like the boss telling you all your flaws, mistakes, and issues before he fires you.
10 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "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."
Because they did not do their job as God required of them, they are going to be removed from their office.
They are going to lose their power.
11 'For thus says the Lord GOD: "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.
God says they have failed Him, and he is going to fix the problem.
As we have just seen, one solution is to remove those in their positions who were not doing their jobs.
12 "As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
God tells them that He is going to have to do this Himself since they did not do it.
13 "And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.
Since His people had been captured and carried away because the shepherds did not warn them, God is going to have to bring them back.
14 "I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
God says He will show them what they had been missing, and sadly, they did not know they were missing it.
v.15 I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest, declares the LORD God.
Some of this reminds us of Psalm 23.
It demonstrates how great things will be when someone (God) is watching over us.
16 "I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment."
Those that did not do their job will be punished along with the wicked.
17 'And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.
God will no longer judge based upon the nation, but will judge each individual for his own actions.
23 "I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them-My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd.
This prophecy is a reference to the seed of David of which Christ would be born.
There is only one true shepherd.
24 "And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
The price of Judah is a reference to the Christ.
God said it, and that settles it.
25 "I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.
This is the new covenant that God spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. It would be different from the old Covenant.
Jesus said that He came to bring peace and not a sword.
26 "I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.
When things return to the place and condition that God intended for them to be, everything will be considered a blessing from Him.
27 "Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
Things will return to what God had planned all along.
There will be peace among them.
28 "And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.
As long as God is watching over us and protecting us, we do not need to fear what men may do.
God will keep us safe.
30 "Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people," says the Lord GOD.'“
We should remember that God is always in our midst.
He is always present.
And He will watch over His people.
31 "You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God," says the Lord GOD.
Christians are the flock of God that hears the voice of Jesus and obeys.
God has spoken.
God is the Great Shepherd
Jesus is the True Shepherd
Those in charge of teaching people are to shepherd them.
This means care, provide, protect, even lay down their life if necessary.
As Christians, we are shepherds of each other.
By Carey Scott
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