Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-16, 31 (NIV)
11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.
15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”
Shepherds have always been an important part of the Christmas Story. Many of us as children dressed in bathrobes and were part of a manger scene.
But there was also another Shepherd there. It was the Babe Jesus. Our attention is usually on the shepherds standing around and we fail to recognize the Shepherd in the manger. But what a difference He made.
When you read the Ezekiel passage, you can sing for joy when you hear him say, “And you are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord God.”
Ezekiel says “I will rescue them . . . I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and . . . I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak . . . “
God made provision for our needs long before we ever had a need. Before we ever felt cold, God began storing up oil, coal, and gas to keep us warm. He knew we would be hungry, so, even before He put humankind on the earth, God put fertility into the soil and life into the seeds. Jesus said, “Your father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)
Those who let the baby grow and become a man will discover not just a shepherd but The Shepherd who will lead all who will follow.
Prayer Hymn: Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content whatever lot I see,
Since ‘tis my God that leadeth me.
Thomas C. Rough