By Pastor Alan Campbell
Co-Authored with Brooks Alden
It’s true! We have been drawn further into bondage as each year passes and it’s also true that more and more of the wealth of our Israel nations and people is now in the hands of a tiny percentage of our population. Yet, the foreseeable future just may be the time when the Lord God Almighty makes His move. In examining this, we should look at one prophetic chapter of the Bible, and when you read it to its completion, you might recognize present conditions, or perceive even more deterioration in the coming months or short years. But, when you arrive at verses 23 & 24, you can only come to the conclusion that the timing reflects the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God tells Ezekiel (verse 2) in no uncertain terms, “prophesy against the shepherds of Israel … say to them, Woe to you that feed yourselves but not the people” (paraphrased). Is He directing this grief to the spiritual leadership of True Israel? Certainly, it is directed partly to this group but it can’t be the long ago past because even as little as a half-century ago, there was some spiritual leadership; some men of the cloth who would speak and denounce evil and the falling away. Not like today, where, in the main, there is little or no spiritual leadership. Recall Tockerville in the early 19th century, he wrote about the root of America’s success by going into the churches and listening to flaming messages; there was no soft soap then. There is an old saying, “When a nation lives in its sins, it’s the church where rot begins”.
Yet, the word “Shepherd” appears six times in this chapter and the Hebrew word reflects rulers, so we can refer to “Shepherd” as being political and corporate shepherds (leaders) as well. And True Israel is certainly ruled over by both, in fact, they help one another in the fleecing. For example, a corporate giant may want to dismantle a plant and move offshore and politicians seem to turn a blind eye. Why? Just look at the City of Detroit, for example, it is a shadow of its former greatness and its unemployment rate is anywhere up to 30%. Its great manufacturing power depleted, with the welfare of its workers, regardless of length of service, simply being a causality. Isn’t this what the Apostle James was partially referring to when passing sentence on the unscrupulous rich; he said, “Behold, the hire of the labourers … which is of you kept back by fraud” (James 5:4)
Ezekiel 34:8 is well worth studying because it too reflects the shepherds’ greed motives, without any consideration of God’s People, who have been falling prey to exploiting nations, particularly Babylon. You can’t blame nations who are the beneficiaries of our jobs and plants, nor of the tens of millions of their people who are arriving in the Israel nations, either legally, illegally or as refugees, taking jobs at lower pay and changing the structure of entire neighborhoods and cities. A sad offshoot of this is summed up in Ezekiel 8:23, “Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence”. So, who is to blame? The Shepherds!
Happily, we are told a change is coming. And so, Ezekiel wrote in 34:9-10, “Therefore, o ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD.” God then confirms that he is against these shepherds and that He will rescue His sheep [Israelites]. That He will search out the sheep that have been scattered; Ezekiel writes the Lord’s words, “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away and destroy the fat and the strong [shepherds]. Just as an example, there are over a million British scattered all over the world that will be brought home.
So, He says that he will bring the Israel peoples together and provide for them. He will also pass judgment against the fat and strong (the Shepherds). It’s interesting to review Isaiah 41 where God assures Jacob in verse 10, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee ….. I will help thee” and in verse 14, he repeats “Fear not, thy worm Jacob (worm meaning small or puny), and ye men of Israel …” Notice here he does not mention leaders. This is emphasized in verse 17 where He says He will judge between cattle & cattle, meaning the weak and the leaders. Again in verse 22, after saying He will save His flock, that they will no longer be prey [as we are today], He repeats that he will judge the weak and the leaders [between cattle and cattle]. It makes it easier to understand Matthew 5:5, Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”.
Verses 23 & 24 have been mentioned as the great moment we Christians have been waiting for, as Jesus Christ will return as King of kings and Lord of lords and Verse 25 demonstrates there shall be showers of blessings. The ending of Verse 27 is music to our ears, “….. and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them”.
We know from a quick glance of Ezekiel 35 that it is Edom behind the bondage but they could not have achieved it without the help of collaborators from Israel, primarily our leaders who have placed their own interests above all that God offers. Our Shepherds have sought their reward here instead of the everlasting joy of God’s Kingdom.
Editor’s Comment: Have you ever traveled down Memory Lane through a melody that you just can’t seem to get out of your mind? This past week, the melody “Where have all the flowers gone”, an old Peter, Paul & Mary rendition, captured my mind and I began to long for those better times of more than a half-century ago. Then, as I was humming the tune, I found myself humming, “Where have all our leaders gone”. It is so sad that when we look at most of them today and realize our Israel nations are in the shape we are because of them. Not just political leaders, but economic and ecclesiastical as well. We are in trouble today because of these very men and women who place power and money ahead of service.
Here! We have just witnessed a vote in Britain to separate from the European Union. It is a tremendous blow to the inner power circle who are seeking one-world governance. They are putting on the appearance of “the people have spoken” but I wonder if behind the scene they are weighing options. Already we are hearing such phrases as “The referendum was an advisory but non-binding vote”. In addition, there are petitions being circulated that call for a second referendum. Don’t discount this, no matter how much Revelation 18:4 is trumpeted “Come out of her, my people”. You see, the political, economic and ecclesiastical leaders & their inner-circle leaders, see control over True Israel as their private fiefdom and won’t easily relinquish their achievements to date; they like the complete power they enjoy. But, the day of reckoning is soon to come.