Crimes and abuses of members in religious organizations are happening and reported globally. Such abuses happened a long time ago too. In Ezekiel 34, we can find God judging the evil shepherds and pointing to the coming of the good shepherd and his work. We can derive a checklist for leaders and set up a system to prevent such abuses and crimes from happening.The Sins of the Evil Shepherds:
- Feed themselves the best and starve the flock.
- Did not care for the weak, sick and injured.
- Did not search and rescue the lost. Actually, verse 4 disclose the reasons for their wandering away, "you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty"
- Did not protect the flocks from attack by wild animal (5 & 8)
The Duties of a Good Shepherd:
- Search & Rescue the Lost.
34:11-13 ... I will find My sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations.
34:13b-14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills.
Eze 34:15 I Myself will tend My sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace.
Eze 34:16 ... I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak.
34:16c But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice! 17 "And as for you, My flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to His people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats.
- 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
- James 5:19-20 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
- Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
- Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
- Peace & Safety
Eze 34:25 "I will make a covenant of peace with My people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land. Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear.
- Showers of Blessings
Eze 34:26 I will bless My people and their homes around My holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing.
- Abundant Growth
Eze 34:27 The orchards and fields of My people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety.
- Freed from Slavery & Bondage
When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the LORD.
- Freed from Harms
Eze 34:28 They will no longer be prey for other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them.
- Rich & Famous
Eze 34:29 "And I will make their land famous for its crops, so My people will never again suffer from famines or the insults of foreign nations.