Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fat Sheep and Lean Sheep





Scripture

Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
(Ezekiel 34:20 NASB)
“Because you push with side and with shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns until you have scattered them abroad,
(Ezekiel 34:21 NASB)
therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.
(Ezekiel 34:22 NASB)

 

Observation


This scripture is not an indictment on what we eat or how well we exercise but instead has to do with those who have and those who do not. Even those within the Christian world there are those who have more than others, and not just in a physical sense, but even in the sense of power and influence. Sadly there were those who were in positions of leadership, those with power and influence, who were pushing and shoving the weaker ones to the side. Instead of caring for the weaker sheep, they pushed them aside, scattering them. God was displeased with this behavior because he cares for every single member of his flock, the fat sheep and the lean sheep, the rich sheep and the poor sheep, the sheep with power and those with none. He loves them all the same! However, he expects the fat sheep to have cared for the lean sheep, and if they do not, he will come and judge them.

 

Application


This is a rather sobering thought. Could it be true that there are those among us who are marginalized, and not necessarily by the world, but by God's children themselves? Yes, I believe this is very true and I think that it's one of the issues that the secular world struggles with within Christianity. Recently while in Kenya I learned that the government has legislated that there must be minority representation on all committees which are formed within the country because they believe that there are serious issues of marginalization which must be addressed. It is amazing that a secular government can see the need and be intentional in its activities to be inclusive (caring for the leaner sheep) when so often the church cannot. The church must seriously address this issue of caring for her weaker or leaner sheep and pray for God's leading in creative ways to care for them and allow them a voice within the fold. If not, then we have given them the shoulder, poked them with our horns and cast them abroad.

Within my own life I have come to realize that I am less marginalized than others. God has challenged me of late to consider my own actions and what my responsibility is to the leaner sheep. I believe my responsibility as one of God's children is to care for those leaner sheep, to invite them in, to share power with them, and to help them have a voice. They must feel that they are just as important within the sheep pen as the fat sheep. If we as God's children do not do this, he will come and he will deliver the weaker sheep and then he has warned us that he will judge between the sheep. He will judge one Christian's behavior over that of another. Have we loved one another? Have we cared for one another?

 

Prayer


Lord, thank you for the reminder today that we have responsibilities within the kingdom to care for all the members of the flock. Amen.

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