Thursday, September 06, 2012

September 6, 2012 … The Lord Is My Shepherd

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 250

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Ezekiel 34-36 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 34: 1-2; 9-10; 15-16; 23-24; 30-31 : [NLT] … 1 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: Destruction is certain for you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? … 
9 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD. 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, along with their right to feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey. … 
15 I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice! … 
23 And I will set one shepherd over them, even my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them. 24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the LORD, have spoken! … 
30 “In this way, they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them. And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are my people, says the Sovereign LORD. 31 You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God, says the Sovereign LORD.”  
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 35: 1-2: 6-9 : [NLT] … 1 Again a message came to me from the LORD: 2 “Son of man, turn toward Mount Seir [i.e., the Edomites], and prophesy against its people. 3 Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am your enemy, O Mount Seir, and I will raise my fist against you to destroy you completely. … 6 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, since you show no distaste for blood, I will give you a bloodbath of your own. Your turn has come! 7 I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. 8 I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your streams will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword. 9 I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 36: 6-8; 25-27; 31-32 : [NLT] … 6 “Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: I am full of fury because you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations. 7 Therefore, says the Sovereign LORD, I have raised my hand and sworn an oath that those nations will soon have their turn at suffering shame. 8 But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit to prepare for my people’s return—and they will be coming home again soon! … 
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command. … 
31 Then you will remember your past sins and hate yourselves for all the evil things you did. 32 But remember, says the Sovereign LORD, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done!  

Cross Reference Passage: John 10: 11; 14-15 : [NLT] … 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. … 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.”  
Cross Reference Passage: Hebrews 13: 21 : [NLT] … Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with His blood. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen. 

My Journal for Today: Another big drink from God’s fire hydrant in Ezekiel today, studying through Chapters 34-36 of Ezekiel’s Scriptural journal. And all three chapters are God’s prophesy back to His flock of people captured in Babylon of God’s ultimate judgment on those nations, like the Edomites in Chapter 35, who snubbed the God of Israel and His chosen people. And the Lord continued to provide a message to His remnant in Babylon, in all three of these chapters, that He would live up to His covenant with David and restore the repentant faithful, bringing them back to the promised land for His everlasting relationship with them.

There’s so much which can be said from the promises and prophesies in these three chapters. However, the word picture Ezekiel uses in Chapter 34 is the focus point of my journaling today. And any who read/study with me today, will be familiar with the word picture used in this chapter, because it is that of the “Good Shepherd,” which we know Jesus used to describe Himself (as we see in John 10). Through Ezekiel, though, we see the prophesy – to God’s own flock – that The Lord, Himself, would return one day to become their “Good Shepherd,” replacing those selfish, religious leaders in Ezekiel’s day, who were being indicted by God in Chapter 34. These leaders, who had led the flock of Judah astray, were considered “bad shepherds’” and God, through Ezekiel, wanted the people to know that He, Himself, would one day return to them as their “Good Shepherd.”

And we know from the New Testament fulfillment of this prophesy in Jesus, as The Messiah, that He, not only came to be the “Lamb of God,” but also He became the God-man to be the Lord’s Good Shepherd, leading His flock back to His promised land. And one day He, The Lord, our Good Shepherd, will return to do just that!

 Actually, in some respects He, The Lord and Messiah, has already done that; and those who recognize His voice (see John 10 again) in faith and come to follow The Good Shepherd, will, one day when the Good Shepherd returns for His flock, be led into God’s eternal pasture to dwell with the flock of God and our Good Shepherd forever.

And to my Good Shepherd, I say [in my prayer below] …

My Prayer Today: … “Lord, I’ve heard Your voice as my Shepherd; and I follow You in faith forever!” Amen

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