The Good and Best Shepherd

“Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 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, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice… You are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” Ezekiel 34:11-16,31

The Lord makes amazing and all-encompassing promises as our good Shepherd. We His sheep- straying, directionless, dumb, helplessly dependent- can trust this One so beholden to us and to His word to us. There is no place we wander, whether physically into sin or foolishness, or in the dark places of despondence or regret in our minds, that He will not search us out, and from where He cannot rescue. Behold Him, sheep, and be thankful!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul…

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-2,4

Walk with Him, sheep! Catch His stride, follow His lead, feed from His hand, be refreshed in His Spirit. He will never fail nor forsake His own. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out... I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” John 10:3,14

Listen for Him, sheep! Dig into His word, learn His language, familiarize yourself with His voice. He is trustworthy.

Why do we glut on meaningless media, social feed with no nutrition? The Shepherd leads to good, rich, green pastures where we can graze. Why do we clamor for the cacophony of noise and speak and opinion, yet do not discern? The Shepherd calls us by name and teaches us to recognize His voice of truth. Why do we limp along in weakness, debilitated by injuries, offenses, bitterness, or shame? Why do we flee His care to hide our guilt? The Shepherd pursues us in loving grace to clean, bind, and heal our wounds. He delivers us from enemies of doubt and self-loathing. He meets our every need.

Father, remind me that I am merely a sheep, and You are the Shepherd. Help me settle not for lesser things, but trust and praise You all the day! (Psalm 100:3-4)

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