Ezekiel 34: Leadership Responsibilities
Ezekiel 34 seems like an appropriate chapter for today given that yesterday was Election Day. Ezekiel was to deliver the following message to the leadership of God’s people.
Eze 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Eze 34:3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
Eze 34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
Eze 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
Eze 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
The leaders were not taking care of the people. Certainly, in America today, many people disagree over the extent and type of support and assistance people need (I am not going there in this forum), but at the heart of the issue is that the people who are leading in Ezekiel’s time had no regard the people whatsoever. They were looking out for themselves, and they ruled with force and cruelty. They were making sure all of their needs were met before the needs of the people.
Notice something interesting. God addresses this to the shepherds of Israel in verse two, but in verse five it says that there was no shepherd. The political leaders were not doing their job, so even though they were supposed to be shepherds, they were not doing anything to keep the people together and taken care of. They had basically vacated their jobs.
This is a baseline requirement of government. It needs to care about the people. Of course, some people think that caring means one thing while other people think it means another. I understand that there is a dichotomy there, but in either situation, we can learn from this passage about the people of Israel that fundamentally, you need to have leaders who care about the well-being of the people.