The Good Shepherd.
“You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” – Ezekiel 34:31 NLT
Sheep are not the brightest of animals. They have a herd mentality, rarely thinking for themselves. They tend to wander, are virtually defenseless, susceptible to disease, easily frightened, injury-prone, and without proper care, can become filthy, matted, and insect-infested. That’s why they need a shepherd. And throughout the Old Testament, God refers to His people as sheep and their leaders as shepherds. God appoints leaders to shepherd His flock. He expects them care for and protect His people. But instead, they tended to fend for themselves and take advantage of the people, leading them into sin and causing them to stumble spiritually. Their lousy leadership was devastating to the nation. We saw it over and over again in the history of the kings. Godless men leading the people astray, causing them to seek sustenance and safety from false gods. Even the spiritual leaders proved to be more harmful than helpful to the well-being of the people. And God was going to hold them all accountable. Ezekiel 34 is God’s indictment against the shepherds of Israel who had failed to do their jobs. He tells them, “You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty” (Ezekiel 34:4 NLT). He goes on, “you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve” (Ezekiel 34:8 NLT). They had failed to do their job. They had left the sheep defenseless and helpless. So God said He would step in and do what the shepherds had failed to do. Over and over again He says, “I will…” He will search, rescue, feed, care for, tend, bandage, rescue, judge, and set over them a true shepherd who will care for them properly. “And I will set over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 34:23-24 NLT). God sent His Son to be the Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep” (John 10:11 NLT). But not only did Christ come to die on our behalf, one day He is coming again to set up His kingdom and reestablish the kingdom of Israel on earth. He will bring back the flock of Israel, which has been scattered all over the face of the earth, and resettle them in the land of promise. He will fulfill His covenant promise to them. “They will no longer be prey for the other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them” (Ezekiel 34:28 NLT). The Good Shepherd will do what the shepherds of Israel all failed to do. He will fulfill the desire of His Father and bring the people of Israel back into the fold of God, safe, secure, and whole
Father, thank You that You do what no man could ever have done. You provide a way for men to have fellowship with You and it is always through the work of Your Son Jesus Christ. One day I was like a lost sheep wandering on my own, but You sent Your Son to find me and rescue me. He restored me to fellowship with You. And You are going to do the same thing with Your people Israel. You are always faithful, just and true. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men