“Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed their flock? You eat the fat, wear the wool, and butcher the fattened animals, but you do not tend the flock. Ezekiel 34:2b-3 HCSB
As a father I am responsible for caring and providing for my children. I wanted to make sure my children had a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear. I also wanted to make sure they went to school and received a good education. Additionally, I wanted my children to come to know Jesus as Savior and to grow in their knowledge and understanding of how to live for Christ and serve God. At times I sacrificed personally so my children could have what they needed. I also wanted to keep them safe from harm and took them to the doctor when they were sick. Even though my children are now grown, I want only the best for them.
A good leader wants only the best for those to whom he is responsible. The shepherds mentioned in the verse above referred to political leaders and perhaps the kings. The terminology for shepherd used here is also found in 2 Samuel 7:7; Isaiah 64:11; and Micah 6:4-5 referencing kings and leaders. Ezekiel accused the leaders as not properly caring for the people or the flock. Jerusalem was in ruins and many of the people were in Babylonian captivity.
Challenge: Are there family members, work associates, and even neighbors who are depending on your care in some way? Are you leading and setting a good example for your children? Pray for wisdom and direction as you care for others.
Your heart became proud because of your beauty; For the sake of your splendor you corrupted your wisdom, So I threw you down to the earth; I made you a spectacle before kings. Ezekiel 28:17 HCSB
In Kentucky there is a great rivalry between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. There are families that have license plates on their vehicles that say “A House Divided” with half of the tag being blue and the other half being red, the respective colors of the two teams. I am a Louisville Cardinal fan, but I will cheer for the Kentucky Wildcats as long as they are not playing Louisville. The game between these two teams is always an exciting event. It seems that even if one team has more talent than the other, either team can win when they play each other.
There is also a big rivalry between God and Satan. The difference in this rivalry is that God is in control and will always win. Satan is not just a representation of evil; he is real and was an angel of God (Revelation 12:9). He is an enemy of God and desires to hinder His work. Satan is very powerful but is only as powerful as God allows him to be. Satan loves to pursue believers who are vulnerable to attack. Jesus defeated Satan when He willingly died on the cross for the sins of the world. Eventually, Satan will be bound and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
Challenge: Which side would others say you are on – God’s side or Satan’s side? Why? Who are you cheering for? Pray that God will help you resist the temptations of Satan. Be careful that you do not allow pride to become an issue in your life.
You were an anointed guardian cherub, for I had appointed you. You were on the holy mountain of God, you walked among the fiery stones. From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways until wickedness was found in you. Ezekiel 28:11-13a HCSB
I have had the privilege of holding all four of my children in my hands right after birth. Now I have had the joy of holding my two grandchildren soon after their births. A young baby seems so innocent and blameless, but it is not long before they exhibit attitudes of rebellion and selfishness. Our human nature is to sin. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
It is believed that these verses describe Satan’s rebellion against God. Satan was created to be a leading angel in heaven. He was blameless until wickedness was found in him. Instead of giving God glory, he desired to be on the same level as God and have others bring him glory. A selfish pride leaves no room for God and is sure to bring destruction.
Challenge: Determine what wickedness can be found in your life. Ask God to forgive you and help you walk in His ways so you can be found blameless. It is only through Jesus Christ that you can be forgiven of your sins and be found blameless.