Focus Scripture: Ezekiel 34:18-19
Is it not enough that you have good pasture? Must you trample the rest of the pasture under your feet? Is it not enough that you have good water to drink? Do you have to muddy the rest of the stream?
Have you ever watched little kids be spiteful? When our daughters were little, my husband was drinking a soda and one of our daughters wanted the soda and he had said no. (Probably told her to get a juice--I no longer remember.) She got so mad. She reached down and grabbed a handful of grass and dumped it into his soda. If she couldn't have any, neither could he. That's a little kid's version of spite, if I can't have it, neither can you. Or if a kid doesn't get the position he or she wants on the team, he or she takes the ball and goes home.
But grown-ups take spite to a whole new level. We don't just take the ball and go home, we tear up the field so even if you find a new ball, you still can't play. Sometimes it is done truly in spite, and sometimes it is just done with a complete disregard for how it affects others.
Native American water supplies have been polluted for decades and at levels far higher than those reported for Flint Michigan, but without the outcry of public support.
What this passage of Ezekiel promises is that God will remember who was a good steward of the resources, and who needless caused another's suffering by damaging the resources that could have and should have been shared. God does not condemn the sheep that eat from the pasture or who drink from the stream. But those who trample that which they don't eat or damage the stream so that others cannot drink, they are subject to judgment. "I will judge," says the Lord. Surely God will.