One of the scary facts about life is that a bad leader can greatly damage to a nation and its people. People don’t want their lives in the hands of people who don’t know their needs and seem only out to help themselves!
The book of Ezekiel chronicles the horrific consequences of Israel’s bad leadership. Israel had been taken captive by Babylon. Jerusalem had been pillaged, and many began to doubt God’s care for His people. God’s promises to bless Abraham and to crown an everlasting Davidic king in seemed like wishful thinking, or even a lie.
Ezekiel 34 diagnoses the leadership problem, lambasting Israel’s leadership for failing to care for God’s flock and only being out for themselves (Ezekiel 34:2). Instead of caring for the weak, sick, injured, or stray sheep, leaders ruled violently and with cruelty, leaving Israel to become food for the wild animals. This selfish and corrupt leadership kindled the anger of God enough to say, “I am against the shepherds. I will demand My flock from them and prevent them from shepherding the flock.” (10).
When God’s appointed leaders fail, He took matters into His own hands and promised a future leader, His “servant David”, to make a covenant of peace between God and His people (25), bring “showers of blessing” (26), create peace and prosperity (28–29), and usher in God’s glorious presence for His people (30–31).
Oh, how we need such a shepherd!
Preview one month of The Gospel Project, a chronological, Christ-centered Bible study for Kids, Students, and Adults that examines how all Scripture gives testimony to Jesus.