Being a shepherd is hard work….Keeping on top of 2-4 year olds wears one out…Sometimes a good shepherd has had enough. Jake just wore himself out keeping tabs on kids all summer.
God had had enough with the people of Judah’s idoltry, careless morality, their hard hearts. He was the Good Shepherd, and they were His sheep, but enough was enough. Ezekiel had to tell it to them straight:
”The end has come…Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land;…I will judge you according to your ways, And I will repay you for all your abominations” (Ezekiel 7:6-9).
This disaster caused them to finally see their sin They mourned for what they had done and been. They were weak and shakey with sorrow.
…like doves of the valleys All of them mourning, Each for his iniquity. Every hand will be feeble And every knee will be as weak as water (Ezekiel 7:16-17).
The historical record is clear. God left Solomon’s temple, and this city which believed they were untouchable because of His presence, found out the consequences of their refusal to turn and follow God. They did not listen to Isaiah; they did not heed Habakkuk’s warning; they did not believe Ezekiel. Until, finally, doom and destruction came. Babylon destroyed everything. Then it all made sense, and those left alive realized how wrong they had been.
We should learn from this history lesson. We can’t push our Good Shepherd too far. We need to shake with reverence and mourn our sins before it is too late.
“Therefore, strengthen the hands which hand down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. …let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:12-13; 28-29).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:3-4).
Read Ezekiel 7 and think about ways you have failed to be godly. Daniel and Ezekiel remembered their sins. God kept on being their Good Shepherd during their exile in Babylon (Iraq).
A Lesson For Children
Listen to the song of the doves with your kids. Except for the hottest summer days, I have two doves in my yard most of the time; I’ll bet you do too. Let their singing be a reminder for the kids (and you) of how we are to feel about our sins: sad…. sorry… real grief…an offence to our Creator. Mourn like doves.
“like doves of the valley” (Ezekiel 7:16).