Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
You know, a significant number of persons with mental retardation are "lean sheep" in that they live in poverty, often on fixed incomes. They are poor.
Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away.
I think there have been times when the fat sheep have shoved the lean ones away. Maybe not with shoulder and flank, but with words and attitudes for sure. With the power they excercise over all the sheep. They shove out by saying that such ministry is not a priority, or that they haven't the money to do such ministry or bring them in. In these ways they give a more holy face to their actions which shove out.
I will save my flock and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.
Should God judge between the poor with limited resources and the rich with great resources, how do you think the rich will fare? Will God say that the poor and disabled were not a priority for Him either?
If the church was doing what it should, then
They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid.
I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.
Then they will know that I, the Lord their God am with them and that they, the house of Israel are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord.
I think it poignant the way this passage ends. I am not sure what the actual meaning of the last line is, but as stated it is a simple yet jarring statement. The implication is that you might not have recognized the obvious fact of the statement.
You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.
The group we are talking about, are not sheep or something other than people. They are people, the Sovereign Lord declares. People are always a priority, or at least should be. In the Christian faith, if they are not, then what is being evidenced is not the Christian faith.