Woe to the Elders 

Old Testament: Eze 34.1–6

To read the Bible in a year, read Ezekiel 34–35 on November 25, In the year of our Lord Christ 2022

By Don Ruhl 

The shepherds of Israel were the elders of Israel, and the elders of the church are the shepherds of the church. The Lord wants shepherds who are not only over his people, but who tend to them. However, the shepherds of Israel during the days of Ezekiel failed: 

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?’”

– Ezekiel 34.1–2 

They did not seek the welfare of the flock, but only that of their own interests, with the result that the flock scattered and the elders, the shepherds, did not go seeking them, because they were caught up in their own interests: 

“You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”

– Ezekiel 34.3–6

That was not a problem restricted to ancient Israel, but the modern church also has that problem. If the shepherds of your church go to the flock rather than waiting for the flock to go them, praise God for them and do everything you can to support those men.

Questions: 

  • Do you honor the elders even when you disagree with them? 
  • If you are an elder/shepherd, how much time do you devote to caring for the flock? 

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Don preaches with the Savage Street Church of Christ in Grants Pass, Oregon. 

Listen to his sermons here: GrantsPassChurchOfChrist.com

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