The model of godly leadership laid out in Scripture is one of servant leadership. The leader is appointed not to lord it over the people but to shepherd the people and guide them in living God’s way. The authority of the leader is delegated by God to them. The leader should thus should reflect the heart of God in the way they lead.
Verses 1-10 of this passage paint a picture of self-serving leadership which promoted the comfort of the shepherd over the needs of the flock. This stands in stark contrast to the picture of the good shepherd in Psalm 23 where the needs and protection of the sheep are the foremost priority of the shepherd. The vacuum created by the poor leadership described by Ezekiel resulted in the people being scattered, hurt, broken and abandoned.
God therefore declares that, ‘I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out’ (v11). His heart is always for His sheep, His people. His search will bring the scattered flock from the nations. They will be gathered to a safe place where there will be rest and pasture (v14), nourishment (v15), healing and restoration (v16).
However, God goes further and declares that He will select His own shepherd, the Ultimate Shepherd, who will be a servant of God (see the Servant posts) (v23). What comes to light here is the fact that this Ultimate Shepherd will be of the line of David. Since Ezekiel prophesied after David had died, he can’t be referring directly to David. Instead he is prophesying that One will emerge who would be of the line of David. He will be one who will faithfully shepherd the people. He will feed them (v23) and he will lead them back to God (v24).
This, therefore, is a passage of great hope and optimism as we see God’s people being gathered and restored in order that they may fulfil their destiny. But for this to happen there needs to be a day when they are provided with His shepherd who will burn with compassion for the lost sheep of Israel and provide a way of leading them back into the blessings of God.
And in Jesus that day would come!
Further reading: Matthew 9:35-38
To think about:
Jesus’ mission on earth was to lead people to God. Our mission is the same – that our lives point to God. That people see Jesus in the way we speak and act. What changes do you need to make so that people can see more of Jesus in you?
|Journal page by Bernice|
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