Luther Seminary God Pause
Monday, 11/17/2014 Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
My high school friend lived on a farm. He raised sheep for his 4-H project. I was invited to do chores. He checked each of the sheep for cuts and bruises, and if he found any, there was that special "balm" smeared on the injury. In the midst of the "baa-ing" of the sheep, silence came as the feed they loved was given them. Through the years I have thought of this "good shepherd" friend and his flock.
The writer of Ezekiel shares that the shepherds (kings) have abused and misused God's flock (Israel). In the midst of this somber news, the word of the Lord breaks forth like sunshine following a vicious hailstorm: "I will rescue my sheep ... seek the lost ... bring back the strayed ... bind up the injured ... strengthen the weak ... "
Wow--what Good News! In the abusive and broken world called life, God is still faithful! May I be obedient to follow where God leads!
O Shepherd God, keep me every mindful of your faithfulness, and open my heart, mind and strength to follow obediently where you lead me. Amen.>
Ben H. Coltvet White Bear Lake, Minn. Master of Divinity, 1970
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 (NRSV)
11 For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, 22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.
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