God will judge our enemies and bad shepherds. Who else?

Oh, that our troubles would be limited to the attacks of our militant neighbors! Alas, the invasion of foreign hordes is not the main problem. If our people still have spiritual strength and unity, they will fight to the last, they always have a chance to survive and win. If we are united in our trust in God, He will fight for us. So external forces are not so terrible.

But if there is no peace among us, among our own, if everything rots and collapses from within, then invasion and defeat, attack and fall are only a matter of time.

Without faith in God, without fidelity to the covenant with Him, the people cease to be a people, the front falls apart, everyone fights for himself and his interests – and not with the aggressor, but with his own neighbor, everyone is against everyone.

That is why the prophet Ezekiel, following the prophecies against the neighbors, pronounces a prophecy against the irresponsible shepherds of his own people. They are no less dangerous than the invaders.

“And the word of the Lord came to me: son of man! Prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: woe to the shepherds of Israel, who fed themselves! Shouldn’t shepherds tend the flock? (Ezekiel 34:1-2).

The shepherds did not care about the sheep, they fed themselves at the expense of the sheep. Now they lose all privileges and fall under the judgment of God. They did not fulfill their role, they showed themselves cruel and greedy. They ruined the flock and did not even try to look for and gather lost and abandoned sheep. Now the Lord Himself will be a shepherd for the sick and the weak, the wounded and the cast out, the scattered and the lost.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them. “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.” (10-11).

But not only shepherds will need to answer before God. Paying attention to the plight of His people, the Lord also asks from the sheep, fat and violent, selfish and insolent.

So, following the prophecy against the shepherds, a no less formidable word is heard against the sheep.

It turns out that not only the shepherds offended the sheep, but the sheep offended each other, the strong – the weak, the fat – the lean. Now is the time to answer the sheep for how they treated each other.

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.  Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.(20-22).

We are used to seeing the main trouble in someone, so the sheep are glad to hear that soon there will be a judgment on external enemies and bad shepherds. But God’s judgment will affect everyone, everyone will have to answer.

We are all waiting for the intervention of the Lord, hoping for a miraculous deliverance. But the truth is that His attention will be drawn not only to our enemies or bad shepherds. The Lord also looks at how we treat each other. And therefore He will not only save, but also judge:

“I will find the lost and return the stolen, and I will bandage the wounded, and I will strengthen the sick, and I will destroy the fat and violent; I will shepherd them in righteousness” (16).

God’s judgment will affect everyone in its own way – the enemies will be asked about their cruelty, the shepherds must give account about their irresponsibility, the sheep about their injustice.

But this is not the end. God’s judgment does not end with execution, but reveals the power and care of our Lord as the Shepherd of souls and peoples:

“ Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are My people, declares the Sovereign Lord.  You are My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (30-31).

Rebuking unfaithful shepherds and impudent sheep, the Lord calls people to be His flock, to follow Him obediently and peacefully.

The words of the pre-Easter instruction from the Ukrainian Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) come to mind: “The main thing in fasting is not to eat each other.” How important it is for both the shepherds and the sheep to hear this!

The Lord is our good shepherd. He will save from enemies and troubles. He takes everything upon Himself. If only we would listen to Him and not eat each other.

Author — Mihhail Cherenkov / cherenkoff.blogspot.com

Source: https://ieshua.org/bog-budet-sudit-nashih-vragov-i-plohih-pastyrej-a-kogo-eshhe.htm

 

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