Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Ephesians 1:15-23
Good News for Little Piggies
James Sledge November 22, 2020
Some of you likely recall the old Beatles song off The White Album entitled, “Piggies.” The four, short verses were set to a fun, bouncy little tune, but the words contain biting, social commentary.
Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in
Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in
In their styes with all their
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking
there’s lots of piggies
Living piggie lives
You will see them out for dinner
With their piggie wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat the bacon
Little piggies and bigger piggies. The prophet Ezekiel makes a very similar move, but being Jewish, he can’t use pigs. Instead he speaks of lean sheep and fat sheep, offering the same sort of social commentary George Harrison did in his song. Ezekiel joins a long line of God’s prophets who speak judgment against the wealthy who enjoy the good life at the expense of the weak and the poor.
I don’t know that the world has changed all that much from Ezekiel’s day. America has had a rather remarkable run where a large middle class enjoyed the fruits of the economy, but that seems to be breaking down. Our economic system is becoming more and more skewed toward the wealthy, the well to do, the bigger piggies, the fat sheep.
But Ezekiel insists that God will intervene on behalf of the lean sheep, the scattered and hungry sheep. God will seek out the lost and bring back those who have strayed, who’ve been battered and injured. And this claim is all the more remarkable given the people to whom Ezekiel speaks it, exiles in Babylon.