When I was a pastor of local congregations, the severe warnings to the shepherds of Israel in Ezekiel 34 haunted me.
I did NOT want to be one of those.
The promise to the shepherds is that they will lose their sheep and will no longer be able to use them as food or clothing or anything else.
The shepherds think only of themselves and care not for the sheep.
The promise to the sheep is that God will take direct responsibility for and care of the sheep.
It’s the radical promise of spiritual autonomy without an unhealthy dependence on spiritual authority and the abusers of power.
Some see spiritual independence as rebellion.
But I love seeing people exercising it.