(31 verses, 5:14 to read)
What I am about to READ
- The Lord sends Ezekiel to warn the shepherds of Israel, those charged with their spirtual care, about God’s wrath against them for their wickedness. He also promises to shepherd those whom He has chosen for salvation.
- vv. 1-10: Ezekiel condemns the wicked shepherds of Israel.
- vv. 11-24: God promises to rescue His people.
- vv. 25-31: God promises to provide for His people.
- This chapter forms, in part, the background of Jesus’ preaching about the Good Shepherd in John 10.
- God sends Ezekiel to warn the shepherds of Israel of their wickedness. He had sent men to feed the people with His Word, to fend off the wolf, and to bind up the injured with the healing balm of the Gospel. However, the shepherds failed in their holy calling to carry the Lord’s Word to the people. In so doing, the people were left scattered by the wind of false doctrine (see Ephesians 4:11-14). Likewise, when pastors today fail to preach the Law in its full sternness and the Gospel in its full sweetness, the Lord’s flock is scattered and left vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. This is a harsh warning to pastors today not to take lightly the call extended to them by the Lord through the Church. God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain!
- God also promises to gather His sheep back to Himself. Notice the language here! God Himself will accomplish this! Jesus makes it clear that He is that Good Shepherd spoken of here in Ezekiel. Jesus gathers His people together through the preaching of His Word (John 10:27), and more specifically, through the preaching of the cross (John 12:32). This also means that Jesus’ claim to be the Good Shepherd is a claim of divinity (which is why the Jews threaten to stone Him for blasphemy in John 10:31).
- In the last verses of this chapter, God makes promises concerning the prosperity of His people. This is a beautiful example of how everything we have to support this body and life. This promise looks forward especially to the spiritual kingdom of the Church, wherein God will reveal the final victory over sin and death accomplished by Christ in His death on the cross.
- Prayer: O Lord, grant to Your Church pastors who will faithfully tend to Your flock with Your Word, that we may be defended from our enemies and finally would dwell with You in Your kingdom in eternity. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN
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