Ezekiel 34:11, 17b-24 - "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. ... Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? And must My sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet? Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue My flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken."
The problem of terrible Christians is a serious one. There are people who call themselves by the name of Jesus who are harmful, abusive, or just plain evil. They do things that would be intolerable coming from anyone, Christian or not. And by their behavior, they bring shame upon the name of Christ.
Such people are responsible for many non-Christians who turn away from Jesus. "Why should I believe," they ask, "if Christianity produces people like that?" Christians who suffer under these people may also lose faith—or they may become bitter and resentful, because someone who should be a fellow brother or sister has instead made their lives a heavy burden.
You may be suffering at the hands of such a person. If so, God is speaking to you! He says, "I will rescue My flock. They shall no longer be a prey. I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, My servant David; and he shall feed them."
This is not talking about the historical David, who was already dead and buried when the prophet Ezekiel wrote this. It's talking about Jesus—the One God sent into the world to rescue us from evil.
Jesus knows what it is like to suffer at the hands of evil people pretending to be good. It was His own priests and temple authorities who handed Him over to be executed! And He sees what is happening to you now. He is not ignoring you. He is with you. And there will come a reckoning.
We can be sure of that, because the prince of this world, the devil, stands judged already (see John 16:8-11). When Jesus lay down His life at the cross, He struck the decisive blow in God's war against evil. His resurrection confirms this. Death has lost its power over Him and over everyone who trusts in Him.
So now we are in the mopping-up stages of the war—when victory is sure, but people still suffer, and life is still hard. But we know that Jesus is coming to put an end to it, and soon. In the meantime, He says to us, "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20b). He who carried the cross for us can help us to carry our almost unbearable crosses, and give us the strength, wisdom, and comfort we need in each situation. He will never leave us alone. He is our Shepherd—and we matter to Him.
WE PRAY: Lord, when I suffer at the hands of people who should love me, please help me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When have you seen Christians mistreat others?
2. How do you think a Christian gets to be like that?
3. How can you find help and comfort in Christ when another Christian has harmed you?
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