This morning I read Ezekiel again for my devotions. I chanced upon the passage where Ezekiel was commanded to pack his bags and go into exile in the sight of his countrymen. The LXX has a different reading to the Hebrew MT: "And you, Son of Man, pack bags for yourself for exile by day, and you are to be taken captive from your place to another place in their sight...you are to carry out your bags, by day in their sight,..for I have made you a sign for the House of Israel,...you shall be lifted up on people's shoulders...I was lifted up on their shoulders in their sight" (Ezek 12:3-7 LXX). Interestingly, the LXX has Ezekiel being lifted up on the people's shoulders as if the people are carrying Ezekiel and his bags from one place to another. This reminds me of Aeneas who carried his father on his shoulders when they escaped from Troy. Was Ezekiel incapacitated so much so he could not walk on his own? Or is it a sign that Israelites as a whole would be devastated to the extent that they could not even walk on their own into exile but had to be carried away or dragged along by their captors?
Today I entered my last leg in my teaching ministry here. I am attending the last Faculty consultation today and later on a dinner together with the whole Faculty, celebrating the departure of a senior colleague who has served 10 years and somewhat unworthy as I am, I am also included in the farewell dinner. I will be packing my bags in next few days and weeks and before long I will make my departure like Ezekiel moving from one place to another. Christian institutions and churches are made up of people, those called by God to lead and care for the flock. Where there is leadership there is progress and fruitfulness and abundance - where the anointing is the cup runneth over and the rivers of God flow to touch many lives. Righteous men are like pillars of the church. Where a righteous man perishes, the church suffers; where the shepherd is struck, the sheep are scattered and as the Lord has said, "My people are haggard and hapless for they are like sheep without a shepherd."
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