“And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he (male) goats.
Seemeth it a small thing unto you (you seem to think it is a trivial thing) TO HAVE EATEN UP THE GOOD PASTURE, but ye must TREAD DOWN (trample) WITH YOUR FEET the residue (remainder) OF YOUR PASTURES? and to have DRUNK OF THE DEEP WATERS, but ye must FOUL THE RESIDUE WITH YOUR FEET? EZEKIEL 34:17,18
What He is saying is this, He will decide and do justice between “sheep”, His people.
It seems that to these that it is no concern of theirs and nothing to them, if the other sheep have no food, because they greedily gobble it all up and then crush and trample the little that remains.
They have no care or concern as they guzzle down all the available water, as they stand in it with their dirty feet with no regard that others who are dying of thirst will only have this to drink.
And they ARE the favorites of the shepherds of those fields, so no one dares to question. Playing favorites, man, I could actually write a book, maybe two just on the subject alone. But I don’t need to write anything since it has already been written and wonderfully fit for a time such as this.
The favorites of the shepherds, the chosen few, the “pets”, the family, the friends, the social status cliques, the biggest tithe givers, and I am sure some that fall into the category of, “Oh, I just like you, you remind me of a younger me” and of course they do like ones that are like-minded and share agendas.
This is the separation: EZEKIEL 34:19-22: “And as for MY FLOCK, they EAT THAT WHICH YE HAVE TRODDEN WITH YOUR FEET; and THEY DRINK THAT WHICH YE HAVE FOULED WITH YOUR FEET.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, WILL JUDGE BETWEEN THE FAT (FED) SHEEP AND THE LEAN (STARVING) SHEEP.
Because YE HAVE THRUST (pushed) WITH SIDE AND WITH SHOULDER, and PUSHED (BUTTED) ALL THE DISEASED (WEAK) WITH YOUR HORNS, TILL YE HAVE SCATTERED THEM ABROAD.
Therefore WILL I SAVE MY FLOCK, and they will be no more a prey; and I WILL JUDGE BETWEEN CATTLE (SHEEP) AND CATTLE (SHEEP).”
Notice the pushing and shoving, those who, when they see one stumble, rather than help them up they will merely use the fallen back as a bridge to snatch a morsel out of the mouth of a another. The ones who shamelessly take credit for the work of others. The ones who mistakenly believe that they are of a greater importance to the flock and to the kingdom. They push and they shove the weak, notice the horns, adding to the wounds of those who are injured, and hurt. They never feel one ounce of regret or remorse because getting all they can grab is what they are all about.
I love how the Lord had these passages go hand in hand in the book of Ezekiel, He first speaks to the Shepherds, who are in for a world of hurt and then He goes on to the “fat cattle, the difference that are made by the shepherds who have their own agendas which are “ME, MYSELF, AND I” and if you can’t expand my pasture ( help bring sheep and FURTHER THEIR ministry) well, just go on down the road, someone will take you in.
It is so funny, I have heard a thousand times by many different mouths, words such as “So and so will be here, come on out and make him welcome” “I‘ll be at ….. come bring friends” “ I am starting a new teaching series, come on out ” and of course the “great new” books that you just can’t live without, of course you have to pay for it but they really want to get this “must have” into your hands and teach you secrets of the kingdom! So funny, there is ONLY ONE book that you must have and that is the Bible and they want you to have it so bad, and you “need” it so bad, but they sure aren’t going to give it away now are they????? But you NEVER hear “Come check out my sheep” “Look at this fine flock” never, never because IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT THE FLOCK.
Another fine example of what He is getting at:
JAMES 2: 1-10 ” My brethren, have ye not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, (do you not profess to be of Christ) with respect (partiality) of persons?
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel (expensive clothing), AND there came in ALSO a poor man in vile raiment (filthy clothes); and YE HAVE RESPECT (PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION) TO HIM IN GAY (FINE) CLOTHING, and say unto him, SIT THOU HERE IN GOOD PLACE, and SAY TO THE POOR, STAND THOU THERE, OR SIT HERE UNDER (AT) MY FOOTSTOOL.
Are ye NOT then partial in YOURSELVES, (Have you not DISCRIMINATED) and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath God not chosen the POOR of this world rich in faith, and HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?
But YE HAVE DESPISED (dishourned) the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (drag) you before the judgement seats? Do not they blaspheme the worthy (noble) name by which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF, ye do well.
But IF YE HAVE RESPECT (PARTIALITY) TO PERSONS, YE COMMIT SIN, AND ARE CONVINCED (CONVICTED) OF THE LAW AS TRANSGRESSORS. For whosoever shall keep the law, and yet offend (stumble) in one point, he is guilty of all.”
I often wonder what it would be like now if Jesus or the disciples were to walk into a modern church. Would it be like it was when he came to earth?
You know when the Jews and Pharisees just didn’t think He fit the bill for being the Son of God, He didn’t look like royalty, He sure didn’t act the part, He refused to share their religious snobbery and woman hating misogyny.
And Oh, my goodness…. Can you believe that HE ACTUALLY LET MARY TOUCH HIM?????? He actually healed the sick without giving them a speech about how they should have taken better care of themselves. He actually cast out the demons that troubled them (without asking a fee) he raised their dead not to make Him a mega minister but actually OUT OF COMPASSION for their pain. He dined with “sinners” hung out with fishermen. He even let His disciples eat with unwashed hands. And all those that pointed fingers at Him questioning His authority to do these things were met with the finger of God pointing back at their own wicked hearts, sure, cast the first stone, oppress the widows, sell the orphans, slaughter his lame sheep.
I really don’t think they would recognize Him here, do you???? Wonder if they have ever pondered the fact that the least of these will be the greatest in heaven? That does not mean high and lofty, that means Jesus came to serve not to be served and this is what He expects from His followers. So if they do not want to do it on this earth and they want a “higher” position then they can expect to have a reversal of that position in the kingdom of heaven.
And THAT is gonna be a lot of fun! I am quite excited about it, as my own struggles dealing with shepherds and pushy- shovy sheep, in the forms of Alpha Male Ministers and Cattle Prodding Pastors, Church House Divas and my favorites the “Is she wearing PANTS” crowd. I have to ALWAYS keep the tongue in check and know that HE IS MY SHEPHERD and know that no matter how scruffy, malnourished, or thirsty I may get and contrary to who likes me or who doesn’t that HE will always feed me, water me, and love me because I am HIS, and I know if I don’t learn to just deal with them, look over them, and see it for what it is, that hate will grow and I will lose my relationship with the Lord and no one is worth that, no one is worth becoming a child that will bring heartache to the Father and His is the only opinion that should matter.
Right?…. Wrong, the problem with the shepherds and fat cattle is that it looks so good to the weak, diseased, hurting, hungry, and thirsty sheep and they flock to it, hoping the “grass is greener” hoping they will get healed, delivered, fed, and watered, only to arrive and be met with those horns as the “home” sheep continue in their own self survival. Then the little lambs are in even worse shape because now they are in a foreign pasture left to the side to die and wondering what they did wrong. They didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment. God explains it all for exactly what it is.
This is why the accountability will also be for all those who had been driven away by cruel shepherds, and no one has looked for or cared for these wounded sheep. They have been left, lost in the wilderness, to be prey for wolves and devoured by the beasts.
Something to ponder as we continue to look for the day of the Lord, pray and weep in humility and correct those things that we can, never turn away His sheep, love and nurture them. Jesus IS THE SHEPHERD and we will all give account to Him.
Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2016