#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Lord God, The Shepherd Of Israel
Ezekiel 3411“The Lord GOD says this: ‘Look! I, even I, will search for My sheep and look after them. 12As a shepherd looks after his flock when they are scattered around him, so I will take care of My flock and rescue them from every place where they may be scattered on cloudy and gloomy days. 13I will bring them away from those peoples, gather them from those countries, bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the hills of Israel, by the streams, and in all the places of that land where it is so good to live. 14I will feed them in good pasture, and their grazing land shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they will rest in a good place and graze in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I will feed My sheep and let them rest, says the Lord GOD. 16I will look for the lost, bring back what was driven away, bandage broken limbs and strengthen the sick, but I will destroy the fat and strong ones feeding them with justice.’”
Now Ezekiel is a prophet during the time of the exile. He is a priest who was part of the contingent that part of the initial exile to Babylon. Jerusalem had not yet gone into full rebellion against Babylon but they were about to do so. They had been in full rebellion against the Lord their God for quite some time now and that was the cause of their exile into Babylon. Ezekiel would prophesy against Judah and Jerusalem from there warning them against their impending doom because of their sinfulness.
So what happened? Israel’s and Judah kings, rulers, elders, priest and prophets had over time rejected the Lord as their God or as their sole God. They worshipped the gods of their neighbors and gods even their fathers never knew. They led the people astray by their idolatry. Though the Lord their God had sent many judges and prophets to call them back to repentance, they would not listen and even if they did, it was short lived.
But in the midst of the doom and gloom we have this gospel passage. The Lord God would search and for his sheep and look after them. The Lord, the God of Israel, always kept a remnant for himself, those who would not go after other gods. He preserved even a remnant of those who were not faithful to him to call them back to himself in repentance.
The Lord had already scattered the northern tribes by the hand of the Assyrians. He was going to do the same to Judah by the hands of the Babylonian, then later the Greeks and Romans. He would later start to gather them back to himself through the preaching of the apostles and of the church. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the Lord of Israel, would come down to become one of us. He would begin the promised gathering here in his ministry among men. He would then send his apostles into the world with his message of baptism and repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Through this message he would gather the people of Israel back to himself and be their shepherd.
Not only would he gather the people of Judah and Israel, he would gather the Gentiles too. Through the same message of repentance through baptism and faith in him, Jesus the Lord God would join the Gentiles to himself and make them part of Israel. Ultimately, he will gather all those who trusted in him, even in his name to himself on the Last Day from the north, south, east and west. He will call them up from the graves with bodies like his risen body. He will gather us to himself changing us to be like him and those who fell asleep before us. Jesus will gather all of faithful Israel, the Church, into the New Heavens and New Earth where we will dwell with him forever in a world that works the way he always intend for it to work.
Lord Jesus Christ, O Living God of Israel, continually send forth your laborers to spread the good news of the free gift of forgiveness of sins, that you may gather us and all who will believe this gospel into your heavenly kingdom now and on the day of your revelation. In your precious name we pray. Amen.