“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?” Ezekiel 34:1-2
Your role as shepherds should be to feed the sheep, and not to feed yourselves – it is to feed the people of God.
God is saying, “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.” Jeremiah 50:6
Why do sheep go astray?
They do, because some shepherds scare them off. They run away from being eaten by their own shepherds. They go from mountain to hill, and church to temple trying to find a resting place. Their usual resting place is suddenly turned into a deathbed or slaughter house.
Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves of their own sheep, and who even starve their sheep to death. Some sheep have not been brought up properly in the ways of God. We need to keep them healthy, and continue to keep feeding them when needed.
Paul says to Timothy, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:1-2). “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Corinthians 4:3).
Two factors about good shepherds; trustworthiness, and not to be greedy. We see this next time.
However, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28