At the time of the prophet Ezekiel, the nation of Judah was a displaced nation with a large deported population and a small remnant left in Jerusalem. Judeans from their own nation whom the Babylonians had put in control were dealing irrespective of the common good of the Jews. They were only interested in what was in it for them and whatever sordid gain they could milk out of their own countrymen. The situation might be compared to tax-gatherers appointed by the Roman government in Jesus' day. Extortion and dishonest gain were the assumed standard for these who were paid off by their respective occupiers. The Jews of Ezekiel's day hated their turn-coat rulers as much as those on the Roman dole in first century Palestine. The indictment does not stop at her "princes" as noted in our lead verse, but the prophet also exercised condemnation on the priests and the false prophets of the day who did not keep the law and who prophesy false visions. They continued to operate much in the same manner as their forefathers did before them, resulting in their captivity. For when blind men and women seek to lead others who are blind, the result is inevitable (Luke 6:39).
What is to be done with those who would seek authority over our lives yet their own lives are full of self-driven, destructive agendas? In many regards, we are giving over many of our individual liberties both nationally and spiritually in the United States. We have allowed many "princes" to tear out the heart of this great nation by their greed for personal power rather than national servitude. We too often turn a blind eye while politicians continue to exercise their rights rather than the rights of the people. We have the power to stand up as individual citizens and demand representation that is marked by integrity. We can and should exercise our right to vote and demand such people to rule over us. Regarding ministers and church leadership that have sought their own will rather than that of their flock, they have the right and the freedom in this great land to make those choices. However, the Body of Christ should not become an accomplice of their self-centeredness and thereby turn away from the truth. We must not be complicit in the deceit that Satan hopes to generate by awarding him the prize of his deception. Each man, woman, and child will have to stand before God on their own merits -- first of all by accepting or rejecting the Lord Jesus as their Savior. But second of all and of paramount importance is how they choose to live out the life that God has entrusted to them. We cannot function individually as the Body. It is ludicrous for someone to say that they will worship God in their own way, divorced from God's church. We must rise up, together, and follow men and women of integrity. The only way we will begin to know whom we are following is by knowing what standard we place on those whom we follow. Jesus said, My sheep know my voice (John 10:27). How much more should we know the voice of integrity in those whom we seek to follow?
Lord, give us hearts of integrity to follow you no matter the circumstance. Give our leaders both in the church house and the White House the integrity to lead with a clear vision of Your will. Have mercy on these who simply will not follow you, raising up others who will carry Your banner into the war that wages for our souls in these last days. Lead us and guide us with Your wisdom. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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