Sunday, August 31, 2008

God Decides Between His Sheep

Having declared how He would seek out and care for the sheep His faithless shepherds had neglected, if not outright persecuted and abused, God now declares what He'll do with the sheep within His flock:
“As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God:

Behold, I judge
between sheep and sheep,
between rams and male goats.

Is it not enough for you
to feed on the good pasture,
that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and

to drink of clear water,
that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?

And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet,
and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them:


I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey.

And I will judge between sheep and sheep.

And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David,
and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them.

I am the
I have spoken.

Ezekiel 34:17-24
Being a member of God's flock doesn't mean that one gets a "free pass" to behave however one sees fit - those sheep who mistreat their fellow sheep would face judgment, while God would rescue those who've been scattered across the lands as a result of their mistreatment.

Finally, the statement "I have spoken" has an air of finality and certainty about it, that there will be no further discussion or argument, and that He would do what He had declared. The notion that "there will be no arguing" is present elsewhere in Scripture, particularly when it comes to times of judgment.

But that's material for another post...

All citations The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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