“ ‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ” (Ezekiel 34:25–31, NIV)
I am a sheep and the Lord is my shepherd.
If you read through the entire chapter of Ezekiel 34, you discover that the issue being addressed is the leaders of God’s people, the shepherds of his flock, are focused only on themselves, not on those they are supposed to lead. Why is it so easy for leaders to begin to be focused only on themselves? What do you do if you are one of their sheep?
What challenges do sheep face, both in real life but also when you think of followers of God as sheep, as well?
How does knowing that God is our shepherd allow us to focus more on living in peace, versus living in fear?