Heal our Land!
Read Ezekiel 34, true and false Shepherds
Creation is affected by Godly leadership.
Ever see the children’s movie, ‘The Lion King?’ There are many spiritual allegories there, but the one I wish to bring out presently, is how the land mourns, and is in famine, under Scar, the wicked, usurping unappointed king, come to the throne through treachery and deceit.
Ezekial 34:24b (The Voice)
I, the Eternal One, have spoken.
25 I will establish a covenant of peace with them and drive away all the dangerous wild animals from the land. Then they will be able to live safely in the wilderness and sleep soundly in the forests. 26 I will make them and the area around My holy hill a blessing. At My direction, there will be plenty of rainfall when it is needed. There will be showers of blessing! 27 The trees of the fields and orchards will bear abundant fruit, the soil of the fields will produce ample crops, and My people will rest securely within their land. They will know that I am the Eternal when I destroy the dominion of their oppressors and liberate them from those who made them slaves. 28 Foreign powers won’t ravage them anymore, and wild beasts will no longer feast on their flesh. They’ll be safe and free and fearless. 29 I will make their land famous for its beauty and productivity. Never again will famine strike their land. Never again will other nations sneer at them. 30 They will know that I, the Eternal One their God, am on their side and that they, the people of Israel, are My people.
After God declares His opposition to the shepherd-rulers who neglected and exploited their human flock, God pledges to get involved personally. He will search for the lost sheep, return the strays, and care for them tenderly back in the beautiful land of Israel, the land of promise.
But in God’s human flock are trouble and competition. Even as God lovingly supplies His flock with plenty of good food, clear water, and pleasant pastures, some trample what they can’t control and foul what they can’t consume. Some bully and push their weight around, while others move aside or run for the hills. Again God sees the problem and promises to step in, personally, to rescue His hassled people and put an end to injustice. So God promises to send another shepherd-ruler, in the spirit of King David, who will love and care for the flock as God Himself does. This Davidic shepherd will be unlike the wicked, neglectful shepherd-rulers in Israel’s past; this son of David will rule as their prince in submission to Israel’s one True God.
But there is more. In the final movement of this oracle, God announces a new covenant—a covenant of peace. Its scope is beyond human community and politics. It is a renewal of life in the land of Israel and, by extension, in the rest of creation.
In Romans chapter 1, we read:
18 For the wrath of God is breaking through from heaven, opposing all manifestations of ungodliness and wickedness by the people who do wrong to keep God’s truth in check. 19 These people are not ignorant about what can be known of God, because He has shown it to them with great clarity. 20 From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people 21 because, despite the fact that they knew the one true God, they have failed to show the love, honor, and appreciation due to the One who created them!
God is revealed in creation, and we see from the preceding passage, Creation is designed to be stewarded by loving, kind, and wise shepherds, who know and walk with God, in truth and holiness.
Of course, this has never changed, for God has never changed.
We have lived like the good lions under the leadership of Scar, suffering as his leadership destroys everything it touches.
We, each of us, are the Simba’s of the story. Called to rise up, and fight our own particular fight of faith in this generation, taking our place as kings and lords in His domain, subject to the King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords, the true lion of the tribe of Judah, King Jesus!
Yet, there is a righteous roar that must come from the heart of the church, as we groan in agony with creation under the weight of sin and wickedness in the earth.
New Living Translation (NLT)
19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a] including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope[b] for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words
Groan, travail, then arise in the power of God and ROAR!
There must be a shout of violent faith in the earth!
‘Father, Heal our Land! Raise up shepherds, leaders, after Your own heart, with wisdom, gentleness, and sacrificial love to provide direction to this wayward generation, that you might quench the groans of creation, in the glory revealed in our unveiling. May you break our hearts in deep travail, groaning, and mourning, until we meet You Lord Jesus, the true Lion King! Let us arise, in passion, zeal, with the shout of a king amongst us, in violent faith, to turn the tide of filth, defilement, curses, and wickedness, overthrowing those foul spirits who have usurped Your authority, through the sin of man. May there be a deep move of Your Spirit, convicting of sin, and bringing forth fruit in keeping with repentance and the holiness You and Your Kingdom represent. We cry out, yet again, for Your mercy, Your presence, Your power displayed Lord Jesus, Amen!’