Jerusalem's capture; instruction concerning the captivity; reproof of the faithless shepherds; restoration of Israel foretold.
Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? (Ezek. 34:2).
God expressed His anger against the false religious leaders because they were so involved with their own interests that they didn't teach God's Truth to the people. Consequently, the Israelites were like a shepherdless flock in a state of confusion. They were taken as slaves and scattered all over the world.
God's people are often compared to sheep in the Bible. The shepherd is the one who will guide the sheep in the right direction. He is the one who will seek out the lost sheep when it strays from the flock. He is the one that fights off the enemies that would come to destroy the flock. Without the Word of God being taught, the sheep, God's people, had no clue in which direction to go. They needed someone to teach them the Truth. They were still found going astray when Jesus came. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Matt. 9:36).
What happened to Israel is still happening today as false teachers do not lead people to place their faith in Christ. There are all kinds of religions in the world. However, even more dangerous, there are Christian cults (in name only) that misrepresent the Gospel message. In some, the changes are small. However, any changes at all to the message of God's Word are forbidden. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book (Rev. 22:18-19).
Jesus is the One Great Shepherd whom the prophet of God foretold would care for His sheep, saying: And I will set up One Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them (Ezek. 34:23).
I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep (John 10:14-15).
Thought for Today:
Christ, the Good Shepherd, proved His love for His sheep by giving His life for the sins of the world.
As the Shepherd (Ezek. 34:23). Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep (John 10:14).
34:14 a fat = the best; 34:27 delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them = freed them from slavery; 36:3 an infamy of = slandered, ridiculed by.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Nick Angelos • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Ted Poe (TX) and Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis (WY) • Country: Syria (17 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish • Limited religious freedom for Christians • 90% Muslim; 4% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Roman Catholic; .25% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Exalt the Lord, for He is holy (Ps. 99:9).
Optional Reading: Revelation 15
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:4