The performance of the president of the United States and his enablers brings to mind what God said to the prophet Ezekiel about certain kings of ancient Israel:
“Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: . . . Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost . . . So they were scattered, they became food for all the wild animals . . .” (Ezekiel 34:2-5).
Near modern Bethlehem, three Palestinian lads watch their flock. They have brought their sheep to green pastures, and run quickly to stop any member of the flock that wanders into danger. Well-being of the sheep is their main concern.
These boys are better shepherds than we have seen lately in Washington, D.C. While the world careens into the worst health crisis of modern times, the president of the United States has thought of little other than his own wealth, ego and reputation. The president who has personal worth of $3 billion paid a total of $750 federal income tax during his first year in the White House. “Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?”
The shepherd who should have been drawing on the best of medical science to stop COVID instead has downplayed the danger, ridiculed pandemic experts, and often refused to wear a mask.
The man on whom the nation and the world rely for fairness and integrity has told tens of thousands of lies and aligned with dictators. Instead of bringing his flock together in healthy relationships, he has divided the nation with incendiary rhetoric and up to 200 partisan tweets per day. “So they were scattered . . .”
Instead of paying attention to essential policy briefing papers and competent counselors, he has spent thousands of hours watching television, playing golf, and hobnobbing with sycophants.
He has used the bully pulpit of the presidency to intimidate and politically destroy anyone who dares oppose him. He repeatedly feeds lies and conspiracy theories to millions of misled people, some of whom he incited to storm the United States capitol.
I felt shame when I saw several “JESUS” signs carried by the mob who assaulted the United States capitol. Woe to Evangelical shepherds who abetted such ideology and enabled a president with values so far from the gospel! Woe to the news outlets that amplified his lies!
The shepherd who claims to “make America great again” instead has made this nation an object of ridicule and pity. We have had more COVID deaths per capita than almost any nation on earth: 361,000 to date. “You have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured . . .”
God said of the corrupt kings of Israel: “I am against the shepherds; and I will demand the sheep at their hand . . . no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves . . . I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice” (Ezekiel 34:10-16).
I look to a God of justice to bring healing to the American flock and accountability for corrupt shepherds who have done so much harm to the flock in their charge. Kyrie Eleison.
When COVID-19 subsides, I would love to have you join me on a pilgrimage. In 2021 and 2022:
“Bread for the Journey” (Egypt and Jordan, April 9-21, 2021). See https://www.tourmagination.com/tour/2021-egypt/
“Journey of Hope” (Jordan, Israel and Palestine, September 12-23, 2021). See https://www.tourmagination.com/tour/2021-jordan-israel-palestine/
“Thy Kingdom Come” (Jordan, Israel, Palestine, May 26-June 6, 2022, compatible with Oberammergau Passion Play, June 6-8). Seehttps://www.tourmagination.com/tour/2022-jordan-palestine-israel/
I expect that if these tours cannot happen when scheduled because of COVID, they will be moved to a later date.