Summary: God seeks the lost and strayed
The Good Shepherd, Then and Now
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Today’s message/devotion comes to us from the Prophet Ezekiel. Who was Ezekiel and who made him a prophet to speak for God? Unless we have some understanding here, we simply hear words and swallow our doubts and what we don’t understand. So, we go now to the Hebrew Torah for a quick refresher/lesson about Ezekiel.
His name – Ezekiel translates as “may God strengthen”. Ezekiel is referred to as one of the three major prophets; Isaiah an Jeremiah being the other two.
In about 597 B.C., the Israelites were scattered all over the region in exile, due mainly to Nebuchadnezzar. It was while in exile that Ezekiel beheld God descending to the mountain accompanied by His Heavenly Chariot and Heavenly Court. Here Israel received the Torah and was consecrated as a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Ezekiel was consecrated as a prophet in a prophetic vision that he deemed a Divine revelation.
On with the message:
As I mentioned, the Israelites were scattered all over the place, having been forced into exile. They struggled just to survive. Here they were in the land promised to Abraham and his descendants and now prisoners in their own land. Many turned from the Lord and became involved in idolatry and sinful behavior, believing that God had forsaken them.
Ezekiel begins speaking repentance and returning to God as a means of regaining freedom and peace. Wow, that sounds just like a modern-day country preacher hammering out a message. Ezekiel prophesies in the name of the Lord (speaking in the first person) “Indeed I myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.” Verse 11. “I will bring them to their own land”. Verse 13 “I will feed My flock”. verse 15
Well indeed, isn’t that what a good shepherd does when the flock scatters and becomes lost. The GOOD SHEPHERD does just that! God’s greatest desire is to bring the scattered sheep back into the fold. He always makes a way. In this prophecy God says, “I will be your God, and My servant David a prince among them.” Verse 24
God beckons all to turn to HIM and God provided an eternal Prince among us. That Prince, Jesus the Christ was rejected and murdered. Yet God, continues to be our GOOD SHEPHERD and continues to provide the Prince, Christ for Jesus the Christ is eternal. Not only is Christ eternal, He promises us eternity as well.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:13-14
God is eternal. God’s Word is eternal. God’s promises are eternal.
If you are one of His sheep that has strayed, I invite you to return to the fold. God will redeem you. God will welcome you. God loves you, no matter what and He yearns for your return.
Let us pray.