On a walk with the family recently, we passed a field of sheep. These animals gave us cause for concern, because a number of them were limping badly. One looked as if its leg might have been broken, and one was lying down looking very sick and close to death. We felt sad about the suffering of these sheep, and I felt some indignation towards their owner, wondering what kind of shepherd would allow them to be in that condition without tending to their needs.
It reminded me of Ezekiel chapter 34, when God is angry at the spiritual shepherds of Israel and He berates them for not taking care of the flock. He tells them, “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost” (Ezekiel 34:4). He goes on to say that He is against these shepherds, and that He will do the job of shepherding the people Himself! He promises to rescue them and to bring them into good pasture where they can lie down. That means they will have no cause to fear, as sheep will only lie down if they feel secure and unthreatened by danger. He also promises to bind up the injured and to strengthen the weak and sick.
This passage is speaking about the people of Israel, whom God promises to gather from the nations where they were scattered and to bring them back into their own land. This miracle has been happening in our lifetime. However, the promise of being cared for by the Lord as Shepherd applies to all His people, who are, as today’s verse states, “the sheep of his pasture”.
Jesus declares that He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16) who knows His sheep by name. He not only knows us by name, but He knows everything about us – our physical needs as well as our inner hurts and pains. He also wants to search for and bring back any who have strayed, and to lead us into good pasture. Why not submit to the Good Shepherd today and let Him care for you? He wants to bring healing and restoration, strength and peace, as well as leading us into all that will be good for us.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are my Shepherd and that You know everything about me. Thank You for the times You have rescued me and brought me back. Thank You for caring for me and for healing me. I look to You now for all my needs. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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