09/09/16 Leaders

READING: Ezekiel 34-36 

God is not pleased with leaders who don’t take care of His people. In fact, He makes that truth clear in today’s reading. 

The leaders of Israel (the kings, their officials, the prophets, and the priests) were to lead God’s people to follow Him, but that hardly happened. They did not “take care of the flock” (Ezek 34:3). The sheep were then scattered among the nations “because there was no shepherd” (Ezek 34:5). We need not rehearse again the idolatry to which they turned, often led by their leaders into sin.  

God’s response was twofold. First, He would hold the shepherds accountable for their poor leadership. He would, in fact, “remove them from tending the flock” (Ezek 34:10), and He would then rescue His sheep from those shepherds. What an indictment against those leaders! They had not “strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured” or searched for the wanderers (Ezek 34:4). God would remove shepherds who did not do what shepherds were supposed to do — take care of the sheep. 

Second, God Himself would take care of the sheep, searching for them, looking after them, rescuing them, and strengthening them — all while shepherding the flock with justice (Ezek 34:16). God would restore His people to Israel, but not because they were at all worthy; He would do it to “for the sake of my holy name” (Ezek 36:22). He would “place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd” (Ezek 34:23). It is, of course, Jesus who would fulfill this role.  

I’m one of the pastors at our church. When I read texts like today’s reading, I’m reminded of my accountability before God for how I shepherd His people. If I rely on Jesus and allow Him to work  through me for His glory, our church will be fed and nurtured by the Word. If I rely only on myself, I’ve reduced the message to a story about me. My church folks, our neighbors, and the nations don’t need to listen to a story about me; they need to hear about the Sovereign Lord. 

They need to see Christ in those of us who shepherd His people. We dare not mess up that commitment.


  • Pray for your church and community leaders. 
  • If you are a pastor, re-affirm your commitment to ministry and to your church. Live today under the recognition that Jesus truly is the Lord.    

PRAYER: God, thank You for the shepherds who have guided me along the way. Guard them from the enemy’s snares.”    



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