The Good Shepherd
Reflection: “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.” (Ezekiel 34:23)
Response: Ezekiel uses shepherd imagery to describe God’s leadership in Ezekiel 34:23: “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.” The New Testament also uses shepherd imagery as described in John, Chapter 10:11: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” God is the supreme “Good Shepherd,” and His role as shepherd over His sheep is infallible. He rules perfectly without the constraints of human frailty or human error.
What does the Good Shepherd do on behalf of His sheep?
He protects: “I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” (Ezekiel 34:25) No one likes to live in fearful or traumatic conditions. Fear can become a normal part of life depending on where one lives, negative experiences, or enemies we confront. When God committed to a covenant of peace, He established His role to protect us and keep us safe from our enemies, freeing us from living in anxiety and fear.
He blesses: “I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26). To bless means “the act of declaring, or wishing, God’s favor and goodness upon others. When God shepherds, He blesses His people and puts us into positions of favor and prosperity. As His people, we enjoy a state of spiritual favor when we allow God to shepherd us. We can rest securely in His care and His desire for us to live abundantly and productively.
He frees: “…but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid” (Ezekiel 34:28). Under the shepherd’s care, He will break the yoke of bondage. No longer are we subject to captivity or limitation. Under the “Good Shepherd,” we possess freedom—free from fear, free from worry, and free to live.
He feeds: “I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land…” (Ezekiel 34:29). All creatures must eat to survive, but if they do not maintain the means to find food, this can prove difficult. Food provides the essential foundation for strength and sustenance to function effectively—literally and in a spiritual application. We need the Word of God to aid in our spiritual nourishment for survival.
Live exceptionally—in balance, freedom, and rest.™ “He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” (Psalms 95:7) As the sheep in God’s pasture, we must depend entirely upon Him for our wellbeing, endurance, and our life. Take time this week to acknowledge Him in everything you do. Do not allow the busyness of life to overwhelm you so that you don’t seek direction from Him or to obtain the strength needed to accomplish all that He purposes for you.