My congregation is coming to the end of its read-the-Bible-in-a-year, and one of the readings for this weekend was Ezekiel 34:11-24. At the same time, one of the readings for Christ the King Sunday is Ezekiel 34:11-16, and 20-24! Coincidences happen - but they usually nudge me.
Ezekiel was a Priest and a Prophet around 580 BC during the Babylonian invasion and exile. He preached that his country had lost its way, had become weak and vulnerable, due to bad leadership in the Government and the Temple by selfish and short-sighted "shepherds" who worshipped power, money, and safety instead of God.
I will gather and lead them out from the countries and peoples, and I will bring them to their own fertile land." (v. 11-13)
3. Good leaders are Servant-Leaders: "I will seek out the lost, bring back the strays, bind up the wounded, and strengthen the weak. But the fat and the strong I will destroy, because I will tend my sheep with justice." (v. 16)
5. Good leaders are Empathetic: "What you did for my people, you did for me." (Matthew 25:31-46)
On the other hand, bad leaders are self-centered:
Things looked pretty hopeless for Israel in those days. I must admit, that some days I feel pretty hopeless in our present situation. But finally, in the thirty-fourth chapter, Ezekiel offers hope: