Ezekiel 34 warns us against not caring for what God has left in our charge:
2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?
3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.
4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.
5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.
6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
In this passage, God is metaphorically describing the leaders of Israel as shepherds, and His people as sheep.
These shepherds were charged with the care of their “sheep” but they became greedy and neglectful.
18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?
19 Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
Here God condemns the behavior of men who destroy whatever they do not use; only to prevent anyone else from reaping any benefit.
20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away,
22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.
23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.
24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.
Above, God warns us that He will ultimately judge between the fat sheep (the oppressors) and the lean sheep (the weak and oppressed).
God reveals the future appointment of the ultimate shepherd, Jesus, as a second David who will watch over God’s flock.
God uses David (the former King of Israel) as an example, because David was a great King. David was at one time a shepherd who cared greatly for his flock and fought wild animals to protect them: 1 Samuel 17:34-35. David’s tremendous care for his sheep was part of the reason God anointed him to be King of Israel.
Ezekiel 34 shows us God’s displeasure in men who do not watch over what they are charged to care for. Ezekiel’s prophecy tells us that these men will be judged by Jesus and that Jesus will come to earth to watch over what we have neglected.
10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
This verse tells us that mercy is a fundamental trait of a holy man, right down to how he treats his animals.
Cruelty is unknown to the righteous.
In Apostle John’s account of the end times, the following verse comes after the sounding of the seventh trumpet; which marks the beginning of intensified judgment.
We are told that God will destroy those who have destroyed and polluted the earth:
18 The nations were angry,
and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name,
both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.
In This Section (Click Below)
- Did God give us dominion over His creation?
- Who has authority over God’s creation?
- What does the Bible tell us about caring for animals?
- What does the Bible say about people who do not take care of creation?
- What did Jesus tell us about God’s love for animals?
- What will happen to God’s creation after the second coming of Christ?