Shepherds or Cowherds?
2 Kings 4:8 -
And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
Today I receive the same topic as yesterday but the Lord wants us to meditate and learn of how the problem started, of how the Shunammite woman impressed the heart of Elisha.
What we read in the message of today is that Elisha used to usually pass by this town of Shunem and that one day this woman pleaded Elisha to eat at her place. The problem started when Elisha was impressed with not her hospitality but with her. She being a woman was handling her business (since her husband was old) and was doing very well both in her business and in society. Elisha's relation with her was not based on anything connected with the Lord but totally worldly.
The Lord has called us to be shepherds to look after sheep, but many become cowherds. Instead of sheep they are on the lookout for cows, cows which they can milk daily, not like the sheep giving wool in season.
It is very sad when we see leaders of Churches desperate for funds, lower their standards and principles. From Spiritual leaders they become event managers and business managers. In all the things that they do, we do not see the hand of God in it. We see many preaching more on tithing than any other topic. It really shames us Christians when leaders fight for fat cows (persons who are rich) to be part of their congregation. It was the height when I hear of a person been told by the leader that he could go to any other Church he wished as far as he put his tithes in his Church.
In some countries we also hear of Church mafias because there is no greater business like religion.
Even if the leaders do not keep the money for themselves, they like to nurture the feeling of having power and ability to organize great events.
Few years back I had warned about the fall of one great Man of God when in spirit I could see this trend setting root in him. And few days back we sadly heard of it when his wife left him. Many Men of God start off very well until the time they, instead of being the donkey on whom Jesus rode in Jerusalem, become Jesus Himself and make God their donkey.
To run a congregation the Bible has excellent spiritual examples in Moses building the Tabernacle (financial skills) and of Ezra rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem (management skills).
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You have called us to be shepherds so that we receive our harvest in the season. Help us Lord learn to rest in the Sabbath, to trust in You and your ability as God to meet all our needs and needs of your Church...
We make this prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
Exodus 35:4-9, 20-24,29
4 And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying,
5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
6 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,
7 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
8 And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,
9 And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.
21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers' skins, brought them.
24 Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD'S offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.
29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
24 All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:
26 A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.
27 And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket.
28 And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them.
29 And the brass of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand and four hundred shekels.
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