God deals with His people. Throughout the history of Israel, God chastised the nation in order to pull them back in His direction. Yet, God doesn’t deal with His people out of unkindness. He deals with them as a loving, caring shepherd who wants the sheep back in the fold. This is a New Testament principle the Jesus lays out in John 10. The same principle is found in the Old Testament in the book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 34:12-16 “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”
There are some thoughts here that the Lord gives us about how He WANTS to take care of us. Look at this list…..
Verse 12 – He is seeking us out, scattered among the world. Last chapter, he sent the watchmen to warn the people….We need to bring people and introduce them to the Lord.
Verse 12 – He wants to deliver us from the troubles that cloud and darken our lives.
Verse 13 – He wants to gather us in a place where we will be cared for…..For us that is the church.
Verse 14 – He wants to feed us and put us in a good place. How often to we get ourselves into a bad place – that is not His plan for us.
Verse 15 – He will feed us, care for us. He will make us to lie down – to cast our cares upon Him and live within His rest.
Verse 16 – He seeks the lost…and would use us to find them.
Verse 16 – He wants to BRING those that were driven away. How many people do we find that “religion” has driven away from the Saviour?
Verse 16 – He wants to bind up that which is broken. Our hurts, our wounds, that which makes us broken, can be BOUND is His mercy, that we might be healed by His love.
Verse 16 – He wants those who are sick to be STRENGTHENED. He wants us to be strong, not sickly. It is our sin that sickens us and Him. He will strengthen us to overcome that sin, to become spiritually healthy.
This is an amazing set of verses found where you might least expect it to be. Isn’t that just like the Lord, who gives us help in unexpected ways. It is a big thing that the Lord would take little me and see me brought, bound, and strengthened.