SHEPHERDING THE STRAYS
In Ezekiel 34, the Lord says, ‘Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not they take care of the flock?’ In today’s society that question would well be relevant to all Christians. It seems to me that we should be concerned about the lack of shepherds available to care for the flocks. On the other hand sometimes there are too many would be shepherds controlling the flocks as gathered but who leave the Lord’s ministry. These become the scattered flock who aimlessly seek structure in life. They are seeking in all the wrong places and don’t want to commit. These lost souls drift. Walk in the wrong paths and without belonging to any flock at all. What happened to their caretaker shepherds? Verse 4 asks, ‘You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.’ The accusations were cast of harsh rules and brutality. OUCH! Therefore they were scattered sheep wandering everywhere and then became food for wild animals.
The Lord called to account that as no one had searched or looked for them, the shepherds were removed from their flocks so that they were no longer to feed themselves food. The Lord stated he would look after his sheep, rescue them and gather them and look after them. He will bring them back to their land and tend them in good pasture. He says, ‘Must my flock feed on what you have trampled on and drink what you have muddied with your feet?’ (Verse 18)
This part of Ezekiel is a real challenge to the societal world today. God is calling back to him his lost sheep who are wandering without a shepherd. Are you one of his Shepherds? Are you willing to gather them to the love of Jesus? In Ezekiel, God makes no bones that our faith is needed to gather the scattered. Can you hear his call?