Ezekiel 34-36; James 1

Ezekiel 34 is the “parable of the shepherds”.  It is heady to read this scripture and then read John 10: 1-18, the Good Shepherd discourse.  Ezekiel 34 begins with a stern warning to the “shepherds” of Israel, who have been “pasturing themselves” at the expense of the sheep.  This discourse ends with verses 15-16: “I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God.  The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal [but the sleek and the strong I will destroy] shepherding them rightly.”  The rest of the chapter is addressed to the sheep, and it is a warning about the judgment of the fat (bad) and the lean (good) sheep.  Verse 31 ends the chapter: “You, my sheep, are the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord God.

GOD’S ANSWER: The sheep allegory is not something modern people – as a whole becoming less and less agrarian – can relate to easily.  Nor can rugged individualists identify with the submissive sheep. But to paraphrase Dean Wormer, “Fat, indifferent to Me, and woolly is no way to go through life sons and daughters.” ( I like to be inclusive, LOL).

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