Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Will

Ezekiel 34 contains a scathing denunciation by God of the "shepherds" who were responsible for Israel's spiritual care:
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds,Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them." (vss 2-6)
God's solution is to replace those shepherds with... Himself! (vss 7-10). There then follows an account of all that God will do for His people, things that the shepherds have neglected to do and more. Each of these begins with an "I will". These "I will"s are also for us today, because vss 23-24 contain these amazing words:

"And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken."
Of course, this one shepherd, this servant, this "prince among them" is none other than David's great descendant, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. 

Be encouraged by all that God will do for His people. Note well how very active and energetic He is on their behalf:

"I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out."

"I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered"

"I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries"

"I will feed them with good pasture"

"I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep"

"I myself will make them lie down"

"I will seek the lost"

"I will bring back the strayed"

"I will bind up the injured"

"I will strengthen the weak"

"I will make with them a covenant of peace"

"I will make them ...a blessing"

"I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing"

"I will provide for them"

And they shall know that I am the LORD their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord GOD. And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord GOD.” ~ Ezekiel 34:30-31

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