Ezekiel has made clear God’s anger at Jerusalem and Judah. He explained how God had been hurt and offended through their sin. Ezekiel likened Jerusalem’s sin to adultery and he called it idolatry. All of this explains why God was so angry; why he sent his people into exile; why so much pain was inflicted on the people.
God’s anger was not only against all of those who rebelled against him, he was also angry with the leaders, priests, Levites and kings who should have been acting as shepherds to the people. The role of the shepherd is protect and stop the sheep from wandering of. God is holding the leaders in Jerusalem and Judah responsible for not keeping his people on the straight and narrow.
I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock.Ezekiel 34:10
It was because Jerusalem’s leaders failed so dramatically that God had to intervene himself. God said, ‘I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.’ It was because God’s shepherd failed so dramatically that God himself then promised to step into history and do what the religious leaders had not done.
I myself will tend my sheep and make them lie down, declares the Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…’ Ezekiel 34:15-16Ezekiel 34:15-16
We should never forget that God himself stepped down into history to seek us out and to heal us from the wounds our sin inflicted on our lives. We vividly see God making good on this promise through the life of Jesus. It was Jesus who said, ‘I am the good shepherd’. It was Jesus who told the parable of the lost sheep.
Jesus has come into the world to seek people like you and me. He has come to heal the deep wounds of lostness and bewilderment. The question we are faced with is will we turn to him and accept the outstretched hand waiting to bring us back into the fold.
Prayer Father, thank you for sending Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to find me. Father, thank you that Jesus brings me back into your fold, your family. Lord help me to reach out and allow Jesus to take hold of my life. Help me to surrender, to allow myself to rest in your security, to lie down in peace. Amen.