“I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep.” – Ezekiel 34:15
Ezekiel 34:11-24 is so similar to both Ps. 23 and John 15; all three portions speak of the Shepherd and His care for His own; what comfort is derived from the great truths and realities that Ezekiel 34 gives us.
It certainly was blessedly applied to our family and hearts this very day. Our two youngest children, Richard and Caroline, entered Ryan High School here in Denton this morning for their first day of school as 10th graders. Earlier in the morning, I had come to Ezekiel 34 as part of my daily reading schedule. Linda and I had already been praying that God would keep them, protect, guide, sanctify, help, and watch over their souls daily. So it was no accident or coincidence that the Lord encouraged my heart the very day they start to school with the assurance, “I myself will be their shepherd.” After breakfast, the four of us read 34:11-14 together and prayed it as they were ready to leave for school. It was a word from the Lord and will likely be the theme of our school year.
As children get older and are gone, or are in situations, classrooms, and places that parents won’t be there physically, one can become fearful, worried, anxious, and wrongfully agitated over the well-being of their children. We simply have to let go, relax, give over the reigns to another, and rest is His perfect ability to do what we cannot do- keep our children and work in them to bring His purposes.
So what a glorious thing it is to be able to pray daily and regularly, “Lord Jesus, shepherd them– be to them daily, moment by moment, what you are as a Shepherd; I cannot keep them– so please keep them; I cannot watch over them so please do so; I cannot guide their every step or keep them from those who are evil, but You can fully; so please shepherd and keep them, and become more real to them than their parents or friends are.” Our prayer, morning by morning, will specifically be, “Lord Jesus, shepherd them today.”
Throughout that section of 34:11-24, wonderful promises are repeated:
– “I myself will search for my sheep” – vs. 11
– “I will seek out my sheep” – vs. 12
– “I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness” – 12
– “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep” – 15
– “I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will feed them; he shall feed them and be their shepherd” – 23
– “And I the Lord will be their God” – 24
What more could a believer need or ask for? What more could a parent hope for, whose children are “away” from you? What could be better than a 24/7 heavenly bodyguard, who has a shepherd’s heart to reach them, keep them, and shepherd them. How glorious is that?
A fresh re-reading of Psalm 23, John 15, and Ezekiel 34 together will certainly yield great blessing, comfort, faith and strength, especially if your children have just left for college or are in a school outside your own home. Your have a blessed and perfect Shepherd working on your behalf. What could be better? You can’t get better than perfect- and that is our Christ- the Great Shepherd of the sheep- a perfect and perfectly loving and wise Shepherd.
– Mack T.