Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ezekiel 34 & 35 - Judgment on Shepherds and Edom

LINK: Ezekiel 34 & 35

BACKGROUND 

Ezekiel 34

The shepherds of Israel (this means both the northern and southern kingdoms) were feeding themselves instead of looking after and feeding the flock of God. Therefore, they would be judged.

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

Ezekiel prophesied of a true shepherd who would take care of the sheep. This is the Messiah, "my servant David," Jesus! He will set up a kingdom of justice, righteousness, and peace (Psalm 23, Jeremiah 23:5,6; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20, 21; Revelation 21). 

Ezekiel 35

This is the second prophecy against Edom (25:12-14) placed in the middle of the section of Ezekiel about the restoration of Israel. Most commentators believe it is there to represent any nation that would oppose Israel in the spirit of the promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 in cursing any nation that cursed Israel.

Mount Seir is Edom's geographical name. It helped destroy Jerusalem and rejoiced when it fell. Therefore, it would be judged. 

REFLECTION 

Yesterday, we were visiting with my good Thai friend, Dang, and her husband, Chris, visiting from Pittsburgh. We were talking about George's job situation, and she said, "You two should be 'pleasts'!" 

We all, including her husband, looked at her and said, "What?"  

After several times of saying it, her husband figured out she was trying to say "priests."  

Being a Buddhist, she does not know that we could never be priests, but what she meant to say is that we should become ministers for pay. We asked her why, and she said, "Because they make a lot of money!"

We discovered that the neighbor behind them was a worship pastor (or "priest") of a mega-church in their area. He lived in a $700,000 house, had house cleaners who came to clean for him, ate organic food, and dined out all the time.

She said, "There is good money in that business, and you already do it anyway." (She knows because we have studied the Bible with her and her friends.) 

We laughed. What we do is all for free. We are not full-time "priests," but we are full-time shepherds. I pray we would never just feed ourselves and ignore the flock and the lost sheep in our midst. 

Isn't it sad that her concept of someone in that line of work was someone who was rich? I think this was definitely a case of a shepherd feeding (or overfeeding) himself. 

(Apparently, he disappeared overnight. The house was empty, and he is no longer listed as a pastor at the church. No one knows where he disappeared to.)

APPLICATION 

What does your lifestyle portray to the lost world around you? 

PRAYER

Lord, shepherd us so that we might shepherd others into a right relationship with You. Amen. 

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