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“ ‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. … I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.’”
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24
God’s Own Shepherd
Would you trust someone who was totally incompetent to work for you or with you? Would you give them total control? Probably not. The worldly proverb says, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” While we aren’t here to debate if such a statement is in line with Christian humility, there is at least this truth in the proverb: “If I do something myself, it will be done to my standards!”
When God observed his people in Ezekiel’s time, he saw leaders, shepherds, who weren’t cutting it. He had entrusted to them the care of his chosen, dearly loved people. He had entrusted their spiritual lives to them, and they were failing their people and failing God. They refused to lead in the way that God wanted them to, but rather they led the people to follow after their own desires and to seek their own definition of happiness.
Too often we act like sheep without a shepherd. Though God places shepherds all around us, though he shepherds us with his Word, too often we follow our own noses and chase after our own desires. Like those shepherds of old, we deserve to be shoved aside. We deserve to lose our place in God’s flock and our place in this world. We deserve to suffer and to die for our sins.
But God doesn’t treat us the way our wanderings deserve. God says: “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” In fact, in these eight verses, he says I (or my) 16 times. “I will do it. I will fix it. I will make it right!” says the Lord. God wanted it done right, so he did it himself.
“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them.” God sends a Shepherd-King. He sends David. David was a great King, but he was dead for 400 years when these words were written. The Shepherd-King that God would send was a descendant of David. This is Jesus, God’s Own Shepherd.
Jesus shepherded us as he laid down his life to protect his sheep from sin and death. He died so that we could live. And even now he rules and reigns, guards and guides, in this life and even through the valley of the shadow of death. Safe in his care he leads us, from this world into the green pastures of everlasting life in heaven.
Rejoice! It’s a good thing to have Jesus as our Shepherd and King!
Thank you, Lord God, for making Jesus our Shepherd-King. We praise you for securing our salvation and shepherding us in this world and for promising us the green pastures of heavenly peace. In the name of our Shepherd-King we pray, Amen.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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