-God’s word to Ezekiel in this chapter starts with a woe upon the shepherds (spiritual leaders) of Israel. These men have been feeding themselves with no regard to providing for their flock (the populace of Israel). They have clothed only themselves with the sheep’s wool, they have not strengthened the sickly, they have not healed the diseased, they have not bound up the broken, they have not brought back the scattered, they have not sought for the lost, they have ruled with force, severity and domination, they scattered their flock, and they left their flock prey for every beast of the field (Ezekiel 34:1-6). Because of these faults, God is against His shepherds who have shirked their assigned duty (Ezekiel 34:7-10a). Now God will stop them from feeding the sheep for their own profit, and He will personally take over making the flock His possession by demand to deliver them (Ezekiel 34:10b).
-Now comes restoration language in the passage as hope is restored. The LORD says that He will personally search out His sheep and seek them out. He will be their Good Shepherd (John 10) and care for them. He will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on “a cloudy and gloomy day.” He will bring them back to their own land and feed them on the mountains of Israel by the streams and in all the inhabited places. He will feed them in a good pasture and pleasant grazing fields. He will lead them to rest as He seeks out the lost, brings back the scattered, binds up the broken, and strengthens the sick (Ezekiel 34:11-16a). But, the fat and the strong He will destroy and feed them with judgment. God will be the ultimate Judge and rule with righteousness in His wings (Malachi 4:2). At this time His servant David (the Messiah, David’s descendent) will be set over them as One Shepherd, and He will feed them making a covenant of peace with them (Ezekiel 37:26, Hebrews 13:20). The harmful beasts will be eliminated from the land, and His people will dwell securely with no more fear or panic. Showers of blessing will rain down upon them in their season, and the tree of the field will bear its fruit. The earth will rejoice in its increase, and His people will KNOW that the LORD is God who has broken the yoke of oppression and sadness from their slavery. They will no longer be a prey of the nations, and they will be established with plenty of food in abundance (no more famine). They will no longer be insulted or ridiculed, and they will KNOW that the LORD is with them because they are His people. His sheep are the sheep of His pasture, and He is their God (Ezekiel 34:16b-31).
-*Application* God is the great Deliverer and will set all things right. We need not worry about false shepherds who are damaging the flock. Look to the True Shepherd of your souls and learn at His feet. He will care for you, heal you, feed you, keep you, and bless you. False shepherds beware, your judgment is coming from on high.
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 34:4-5, 12-16