Daily Devotion for January 4, 2017

'Ezekiel 34's Shepherd'

Ezekiel 34:11-17, 25, 27, 22-24, 31 NLT
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I Myself will search and find My sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find My sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I Myself will tend My sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. I will search for My lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice...I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats.
“I will make a covenant of peace with My people... I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them...
So I will rescue my flock...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!
You are My flock, the sheep of My pasture. You are My people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

I read Ezekiel 34 this morning...a chapter where God condemned the leaders of Israel who were NOT shepherding His people as they were supposed to. God knew what these leaders were doing (and what they were NOT doing!), and He wasn't pleased...

But then the Lord said He Himself would be their shepherd (also said in Psalm 23!)! He was going to “search and find..and rescue” His Sheep—“search for” His“lost ones who strayed away, and...bring them safely home again” (also said in Luke 15:1-7—by Jesus!)! God was going to personally “feed them” (coincidence that Jesus calls Himself “the bread of life” in John 6:35?)! He was going to make them “lie down in pleasant places” (also in Psalm 23!) He was going to personally be with and “tend” His “sheep” (see Christ's words in John 10 and Matthew 28:20!)! God would “give them...peace” (and we have “peace” through Jesus —John 14:27!)! He was going to personally “bandage the injured and strengthen the weak!” (see Psalm 147:3 and Philippians 4:13!) He was going to “feed them justice” (read Matthew 24:31-46!) Moreover, God was going to “set over them one shepherd” from David's line (Jesus!!!). This “one shepherd” would be part of the God's “covenant of peace” with His flock—one who would break “chains of slavery,” rescue them, feed them, and be “a prince” (Colossians 1:12-14!)...

Isn't our Shepherd truly marvelous, folks? We couldn't ask for a better Shepherd! We couldn't ask for a more loving God...

Lord Jesus: We Believers praise You because You are our wonderful Shepherd, and we are “the sheep of (Your) pasture! (We) are (Your) people” whom You lovingly tend, provide for, and care for, “and (You are) our (amazing Shepherd and) God!” May Your loving shepherding of us be evident to all, as we proclaim Your life to a lost and dying world...

AMEN!!!

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