Ezekiel 34

Those will have a great deal to answer for in the day of judgment who took upon them the care of souls as under-shepherds,
yet never took any care of them.
Happy are they who know Christ, the Good Shepherd, being fed in His pastures and blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him.

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

7 ¶ Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

11 ¶ For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

20 ¶ Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.

31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 34:1-16 – ​Selfish Shepherds

   The shepherds of this chapter were not the religious leaders of the people, but rulers who sought in their government not the good of the people but their own selfish ends. But the statements made by the prophet may be rightly applied to rapacious priests who care more for the fleece than for the flock. Pastors are required to lead the flock of God not for filthy lucre but as examples for the sheep, I Peter 5:2-3. It is their duty, also, to strengthen the spiritually diseased, heal the sick, bind up the broken in heart, and seek the lost.
   Notice the tender manner in which the Lord Jesus Himself supplies the deficiencies of His unfaithful servants. In beautiful contrast to their selfish cruelty and rapacity, He sets Himself in cloudy and dark days to gather and tend His people, though they had been as scattered sheep, each taking his own way. When the ministers of His Church fail in their duty, the Lord hastens to supply their lack. Without doubt these gracious promises refer primarily to the Lord’s Second Advent, when He will seek out and deliver His Chosen People, and bring them to their own land. But surely we must not limit the reference thus. We are His sheep, by purchase and by choice. He knows us, as we know Him. He has sought and saved us. He feds us and causes us to lie down beside the waters of rest. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Ezekiel 34:15—I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

​   It is perfectly impossible to make sheep lie down unless they are satisfied or free from alarm. When the flocks lie deep in the rich pasture lands, it is because they have eaten to the full, and are quiet from fear of evil. When, therefore, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls promises that He will so deal with us as to cause us to lie down, He undertakes to fulfill in our life these two conditions.
   The Lord Jesus brings us into a good pasture, and causes us to feed in a fat pasture upon the mountains of fellowship, transfiguration, and far-reaching vision. Listen as He cries, “Eat… yea, drink abundantly, O beloved” (Song of Solomon 5:1). Our restlessness arises from our refusal to obey his loving invitation to come and dine. We do not read our Bibles enough, or feed on his flesh, or drink his blood. Let us look at the Scriptures as the green pastures; and as we open them let us ask Him to he our guide, and to show us where the food appropriate to our need is to be found.
   The Lord Jesus does more. He makes with us a covenant of peace; and even if the evil beasts do not cease out of the land, He so assures us that we can dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. He intends that we should be safe in Immanuel’s land; that the bonds of our yoke should be broken; and that we should be delivered out of the hands of those who serve themselves of us.
   O child of God, be less dependent on people and circumstances! Deal more constantly at first hand with Jesus. Regard Him as your Shepherd; “He maketh me to lie down” (Psalm 23:2). Rejoice that He the Lord your God is with you, and that the shadowing woods, the mighty mountains, and the stream-watered vales are equally beneath his power and care. —Our Daily Homily

Ezekiel 34:17-31 – ​“Showers of Blessing”

   Though God now often seems to make no difference between the oppressors and the oppressed, the time is fast coming when He will make momentous and lasting distinctions, Matthew 25:32-33. No wrong shall then be unredressed. Note the designation of our Lord as the “one Shepherd,” peerless and matchless in dignity and authority. Once He died to save His flock from the wolf, but He is destined to reign forever as their Great Shepherd in the midst of them, Ezekiel 34:24. They shall be everlastingly exempted from hunger, harm, and reproach. Jesus has been raised up from the dead to be our plant of renown. Planted in the grave of death, He has become with His faithful people a Vine, whose shadow covers the hills, and enriches the hearts and lives of men with luscious fruit. And because He lives, we shall live also. His resurrection implies and guarantees our own. —Through the Bible Day by Day