These are probably the most famous chapters in the prophetic book of Ezekiel. There are a lot of New Testament themes that get picked up from here, such as the water and Spirit in Ezekiel 36 referenced by Jesus in John 3.
And I'm haunted by this passage. Scared even.
The first few verses of chapters 33 and 34 are riveting to me. As a pastor who regularly speaks to God's people on behalf of God (or at least hopefully on His behalf), I take warnings like these seriously.
If I'm told by God, through His Word or otherwise, to do something and I don't, the outcome is on me. Even when it's a message for someone else, their blood is on my hands. Sobering. And it's not easy or fun to be the prophet (though I've met a few who thought they were prophets who also thought it was fun). Prophets often end up dead.
If I seek my own comfort instead of feeding sheep, strengthening the weak, healing the sick, binding up the injured, bringing back the stray, seeking the lost, and shepherding them gently, I'm in big trouble with the Chief Shepherd. Major trouble. Huge trouble. And there's no doubt it's work. And it's not easy nor convenient. There's a self-crucifixion gene in Kingdom DNA.
So that brings me to me (and you can listen along if you'd like)...
Are there things I know I should do that I'm not doing?
Are there things I know I should be saying that I'm not saying?
Are there things I know I should be seeking that I'm not seeking?
There's a lot at stake for "them" and me.