“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.”
– Ezekiel 34:15
What a beautiful verse. In the middle of this chapter where God starts by speaking to the shepherds of Israel who had been unfaithful in loving and caring for his people, he says earlier to them, Ezekiel 34:4, “You have not strengthened the weak, the sick. You’ve not healed the injured. You’ve not bound up the strayed. And you’ve not brought back the lost. You’ve not sought. And with force and harshness, you have ruled them.” And God is speaking against these shepherds. And then he says in verse 15, “I myself though, I’m going to be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.” When you get to the end of the chapter in verse 31, God says to his people, “You are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.”
Ezekiel 34:15 Teaches Us that God is Our Shepherd
It’s this reality that we see all throughout the Bible. Psalm 23, probably the most famous, “The Lord God is our shepherd.” And what he’s promising here in Ezekiel 34 verse 15 is that he himself will be the shepherd of his sheep. And so what does Jesus say when he comes God in the flesh? He says, “I am the good shepherd. I lay it down my life and love for the sheep.”
Can I just remind you of this today? I obviously don’t know what you’re walking through, struggles you are enduring, challenges you are facing, but I have good news. God knows every single one of those challenges, things that are heavy on your heart and your mind, the things that you are facing right now walking through. And not only does he know these things that are going on in your life, he himself is your shepherd in the middle of those things.
Ezekiel 34:15 Reminds Us of God’s Goodness and Mercy
God himself is committed to leading you and guiding you and making you lie down and rest in him and his shepherding loving leadership of your life. And he strengthens the week, and he heals the sick, and he binds up the injured, and he brings back the strayed, and he seeks the loss. And he doesn’t rule with force and harshness. He rules with goodness and mercy. Psalm 23, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. I will dwell in the house of the Lord my shepherd forever.” Your shepherd God, for all who trust in God, in Jesus, says the good shepherd, he will lead you today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day through whatever you face, all the way to the day when you rest forever securely in His presence.
God, I just pray that over every single person listening right now amidst whatever they’re walking through, God, may they know that you yourself are their shepherd. May they know that you yourself love them and care for them. May they have strength. God, I pray for your strength in people’s weakness right now, for your healing and the sick. God, we ask for that, knowing you’re going to bring it about ultimately, but we would ask for it even in the here and now, God, for binding up of the injured, you would bring back the strayed.
Praying for the Kamptee of India
God, please bring back the strayed. Please seek the lost, bring them back. And we praise you for ruling our lives with goodness and mercy, not force and harshness. You are the good shepherd, Jesus the great shepherd, and we praise you. We pray for your loving, shepherding leadership in our lives today. Even as we pray, thinking about your words, Jesus, about the harvests plentiful, like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless.
God, we pray for the Kamptee of India, 21,000 people, the small people group, Buddhist people group in Northeastern India. None of them know you, Jesus, as the good shepherd. We pray that you would bring them to know you as the good shepherd, that you would send laborers into the harvest field to lead them to yourself as the good shepherd. God, we pray that for the Kamptee of India. Please show your shepherding love to them we pray. Oh, God, we love knowing you as our shepherd, and we pray for your loving shepherding leadership in our lives. And it’s whatever we’re walking through today, may we know, all of us know, that you are with us and you are shepherding us for our good and ultimately for your glory, for your name’s sake. In Jesus name, we praise you, oh Lord, our shepherd. Amen.