Scattered Sheep

One of the bible’s imageries for leadership is a shepherd. The religious and political leadership of Israel, again and again, failed to do God’s will. Prophet Ezekiel writes about their flaws that the sheep were scattered. “The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So, they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts.” (Ezekiel 34:4-5)
Unserved weak: The weak need special attention. Instead of strengthening, teaching, equipping, and empowering the weak, the shepherds demoralized and destroyed them. The weak and vulnerable were left to survive by themselves.
Suffering sick: Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, the people were sick. Without proper pasture, and still waters, sheep became sick. Without the renewal of mind, the sheep experienced emotional turmoil. Unwarranted fear, lack of knowledge, and discernment made them sick.
Open wounds: Sheep had injuries or open wounds, were attacked by wild animals or were exposed to harsh climates. Shepherds did neither clean nor bandage them. Satan and false teachers attack the congregation.
Astray: Sheep do not have a sense of direction. Hence, always prone to go astray. Shepherd did not show them the right path, lead them in the way of righteousness, or led them to the path of death.
Lost, not found: The shepherds did not have a count of the sheep. Hence, some sheep were lost, never to be found. Caring only for the part of the flock (rich) means neglect of other sheep (poor) within the flock.
Violence: Instead of gently teaching, lovingly guiding, and showing the way, the shepherds used force that hurt the sheep. The obedience was forced and not earned through love and service.
Harshness: The shepherds were harsh in their attitude and words. Loving, caring, and feeding the sheep was not done with the right attitude. Sheep were treated like non-entities. Believers are robbed of their dignity and self-esteem by harsh pastors.
Do I gather or scatter the sheep?