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We need to note as we interpret this passage that Kings, and Leaders were often referred To as Shepherds in the Near East. I checked the New American Commentary, plus three Study Bibles, and they all support the idea that this ending section of Ezekiel will not be completely fulfilled until the Millennial Reign of Christ. All the promises concerning " My servant David" are difficult to see fulfilled without the Millennial Reign of Christ. I know some make a different interpretation, so check with your pastor to see his view of these passages. If we grow to really know How To Live As Redeemed People we will have to relate in an ever increasing way to Christ the Good Shepherd.
1. Live As Redeemed People Reject . . Self Serving Shepherds. 34:2-5
through An . . Indictment of Self Serving Shepherds. v 2
2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy, and say to them: This is what the Lord God says to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding themselves! Shouldn't the shepherds feed their flock?
1. Indictment Through . . Revelation. v 2 a
2. Indictment Through . . Responsibility. v 2 b
through An . . Interrogation of Self Serving Shepherds.
v 3-5, and 10 a
1. Indignation In . . Recounting the Many Sins. v
3 You eat the fat, wear the wool, and butcher the fatlings, but you do not tend the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick, bandaged the injured, brought back the strays, or sought the lost. Instead, you have ruled them with violence and cruelty. 5 They were scattered for lack of a shepherd; they became food for all the wild animals when they were scattered.
2. Indignation In . . Removing the Flock. v 10 a
10 "This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against the shepherds. I will demand My flock from them and prevent them from shepherding the flock.
ask; "Shouldn't the shepherds feed their flock?" One Bible commentator
says this question is the seventieth so far in the Book of Ezekiel. Sometimes
questions indict, and God does indict these rulers of Israel. In verses
2-5 you can count at least twelve indictments as the sins are recounted.
God climaxes His indignation with the demand that His flock be removed
from these shepherds. Note this is not flocks plural, but one flock as
God considers His people as one.
2. Live As Redeemed
People Reverence the . .
Sincere Shepherds. 34:16-24
The . . Caring of the Sincere Shepherd. 34:16-17
16 "I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice. 17 "The Lord God says to you, My flock: I am going to judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and male goats.
The . . Contrast with the Sincere Shepherd. 34:18-19
18 Isn't it enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of the pasture with your feet? Or [isn't it enough] that you drink the clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Yet My flock has to feed on what your feet have trampled, and drink what your feet have muddied.
C. The . . Command
of the Sincere Shepherd. 34:20-22
20 "Therefore, this is what the Lord God says to them: See, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Since you have pushed with flank and shoulder and butted all the weak ones with your horns until you scattered them all over, 22 I will save My flock, and they will no longer be prey for you. I will judge between one sheep and another.
The reference to God as a Shepherd is as old as Gen.49:24 and of course
as prominent as the twenty-third Psalm. Have you noticed the number of
"I Wills" in our text? This interesting fact emphasizes the truth that
God will shepherd in a personal, and caring manner. Most older Christians,
and several younger ones can tell you experiences they enjoyed as the Lord
shepherded them through a very difficult time in their life. They may also
share how the Lord shepherded them in times of plenty when their cup ran
over. We can easily see the contrast between a godly shepherd and one who
is self seeking. When the Lord leads the shepherd there is a command for
the good. This kind of shepherd knows what to do, how to do it, and he
3. Live As Redeemed People Receive the . . Servant Shepherd. 34:23-24
A. The . . Activity
of the Servant Shepherd. 34:23
23 I will appoint over them a single shepherd, My servant David, and he will shepherd them. He will tend them himself and will be their shepherd.
The . . Authority of the Servant Shepherd. 34:24
24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be a prince among them. I, the Lord, have spoken. Ezek 34:2-24 (HCSB)
of us need the activity of a shepherd in our lives. The activity of the
servant shepherd is exactly what we need as He is appointed by God to watch
over us. This shepherd will have authority, and God said the shepherd would
be "a prince" among us. Most will consider this a reference to the Messiah,
and it is very difficult to see it completely fulfilled until the
Millennial Reign. If we grow in our lifestyle as a redeemed people we must
have spiritually concerned shepherds. Young shepherds must learn from older
ones and every Christian must pass on what has been learned. We ultimately
yield to the Good Shepherd; if we want to know How To Live As Redeemed
People. Amen? Amen!