Ezekiel 34:11-16 - "For 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 I will 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. And 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."
Have you ever walked into a disaster and had to deal with it?
If you have, you know the mindset that settles down on you. You haven't got time to panic or cry or be afraid. Someone's got to deal, and that someone is you. So your eyes flick around the scene: Who's bleeding, who's broken, who's making a lot of noise but can probably wait. You look for immediate threats, like fire or oncoming cars. You look to see what resources you've got: there a person who could call 9-1-1; here a sweater we could use for bandages, there a safe spot of pavement where we can park the survivors. You start shouting orders: "You, there, get that kid out of the street! You, over there, call the cops!" You swing into action, and just keep doing the next thing, and the next, and the next ... until it's all over, and you can go home and pass out. (And have nightmares ...)
Ezekiel shows us God dealing with disaster. His people have been attacked and scattered, helpless sheep in the face of evil. And God says: "I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. ... I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. ... I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries ... 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."
How did God do that? How does He deal with the ongoing disaster that is our world today—full of violence, hate, plague, war, and lawlessness? How does He deal with our personal disasters—our grief, shame, fear, worry, and loneliness? He deals through Jesus Christ, our Shepherd.
Look at what the Lord says: "I, I Myself will search for My sheep." God Himself came into our world in search of us. During the years of His ministry, He taught the truth, healed the sick, raised the dead, and gave the Good News of salvation to the poor. And He capped this by actually laying down His life for His sheep, when He was arrested and crucified. Through His death He set us free from the power of evil, and through His resurrection from the dead He brought us life that will last forever. Our disaster has become a blessing.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for being my Shepherd, and keep me close to You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Think of a small disaster in your own life. Who helped you?
2. What did that person do? Why?
3. How do you see Jesus Christ reflected in the loving care of that person?
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