Devotional Ezekiel 34:4

Pastor Brian’s “Every So Often” Devotional

December 19, 2012

(Ezekiel 34:4The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.

God sees His people as sheep, not self-reliant, but needing the faithful, compassionate care of a shepherd to lead, feed, and protect them. Thus our Heavenly Father, as the Great Shepherd over all, appoints what we might call “under-shepherds” to be the human agency by which God’s love and concern is shown.

In Ezekiel’s day, as God’s judgment prepared to fall on His people Israel who have rebelled against Him, those under-shepherds were not at all doing their job. God pronounces woe upon those shepherds for taking heed more to themselves than the flock God had given them to nurture. In doing so, God gives us a glimpse of His heart towards people, and the heart we should have towards others, whether we see in ourselves the calling of “shepherd” or not.

God’s heart is that the sick be healed. His heart is that the broken be put back together. His desire is that those who have been actively driven away, or even simply wandered away, be just as actively sought after and brought back to the fold. As we, the church, work together to be “Jesus with skin on”, these are the things that should mark us. These things are love in action; these are the things which allow others to know that we are His disciples, “that we have love for one another” (John 13:35).