“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.” – Ezekiel 34:6
God used Ezekiel to continue speaking to the people. He had already accused the leaders and priests of their poor leadership back in chapter 22. More specifically, the finger was pointed at the princes, the priests, false prophets and the people who followed them. The leaders were taking from the people and exploiting them. They even killed some of the people and took their riches and made excuses for it claiming it would benefit the nation, but it just benefited them. The leaders claimed they were leading the nation’s affairs for the “sheep” but they were only out for their own selfish gain. As a result, the “shepherds” made selfish and unwise decisions and the nation fell apart. The people, or “sheep”, were scattered.
Someone once told me that historians have a saying, “history never repeats itself, but it echoes.” As we look around our nation and world today, I wonder what our leaders, priests and shepherds in the church are echoing. Could it be that we are, in many ways, demonstrating these same things that led to moral decay in the Nation of Israel? Where are our shepherds in the church? Is there no one seeking or searching for the sheep that have gone astray? In anything we say or do politically and spiritually, is it so that we might sound smart or feel like we have to defend or do we do it in a heart of love for others?
Do you know what Jesus, the true Shepherd, did when people hurled accusations at Him? He did not run to social media and spout off his opinions. He did not go in-front of Congress or the President and filibuster. He did not look to a television or movie star to defend His rights. As He hung on the cross He went directly to prayer and said, “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.”
When we continue reading on in chapter 34 of Ezekiel, there was no one found with the right heart to seek the lost. So, God announces that He would do it Himself as the True Shepherd. He would seek and search for His lost sheep. This is why He came down from His thrown. To live among His people and die on the cross. He shed His blood for us. He was murdered and hung on the cross for each of us individually. He is the only Shepherd and leader any of us need to follow.
“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” – Isaiah 53:7