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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ezekiel Chapter 34

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezekiel
Date Penned: BC 571
Overview: Messages of Hope (c 33-48)
Theme: Restoring the People (c 33-39)
Message: Isreal is God's Flock (v 1-34)
 
Ezekiel: Chapter 34 Commentary
 

(34:1) Ezekiel called the exiles “Israel”, referring to all the Jews in captivity from both northern and southern kingdoms. Ezekiel criticized Israel’s leaders for taking care of themselves rather than taking care of their people. He outlined their sins in chapter 34 and pronounce judgment upon them in this same chapter. Then he promised that a true Shepherd, the Messiah, Would come who would take care of the people as the other leaders were supposed to do. This beautiful message portrays the fate of the present Shepherds, the work of the new Shepherd, and the future of the sheep.


(34 :2) Ezekiel prophesied against the religious leaders, Shepherds, of Israel who took care of themselves while exploiting and even abusing their people. Jeremiah also accused these leaders of neglecting the people in Jeremiah chapter number 23. Leaders in the church must not fall into the trap of spending time and money to promote or enjoy themselves when they should use resources to provide for their needs of those they serve. Avoid this, leaders must stay close to their flocks.

(34 :4-6) God would judge the religious leaders because they were caught up in their own concerns that were neglecting their service to others. Spiritual leaders must be careful not to pursue self development at the expense of broken, scattered people. When we give too much attention to our own needs and ideas, we may push got a side those who depend on us.

(34 :9-10) Those shepherds who failed their flock would be removed from office and held responsible for what happened to the people they were supposed to lead. Christian leaders must heed this warning and care for their flock, or total failure and judgment will be the result as we see in first Corinthians chapter 9. True leader ship focuses on helping others, not just getting ahead.

(34 :11-16) God promises to take over as shepherd of his scattered flock. When our leaders fail us, we must not despair, but remember that God is in control and that he promises to one day return and care for his flock. Thus we know we can turn to him for help. He is still in control and can transform  any tragic situation to produce good for his kingdom as we see in Romans Chapter 8.

(34 :18-20) A bad Shepherd is not only selfish but destructive. A minister who muddies the waters for others by raising unnecessary doubts, teaching false ideas, and acting simply is destroying his flocks spiritual nourishment..

(34 :23-25) In contrast to present evil Shepherd’s, leaders, of God’s people as outlined in verses one through six, God will send a perfect Shepherd, the Messiah, who will take care of every need his people have and set up a kingdom of perfect peace and justice as we see in Psalms chapter 23, Jeremiah chapter 23, John chapter 10, Hebrews chapter 13, and Revelation chapter 21.

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application


The Good Shepherd

 

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue the Book of Ezekiel with Chapter 34. In our text today we see Israel is God's flock and the difference between Good Shepard's and Bad Shepard's as leaders in our Churches with the good taking care of the flock while the bad take care of themselves. In making application we see that we have bad Shepard's amongst us but good also that follow the example of the ultimate Good Shepard - the Lord Jesus-Christ. How about you? Do you see the characteristics of good spiritual leadership?  Let us learn from our text today and the example of Ezekiel to realize that as children of God we are like sheep and as we gather and serve in our Churches there are characteristics of Good Spiritual Leadership for us to exhibit and to follow as we all serve the Ultimate Good Shepard, our Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ.

 

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Ezekiel 34

Ezekiel 34

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

 2Son 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?

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

 4The 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.

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

 6My 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.

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

 8As 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;

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

 10Thus 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.

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

 12As 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.

 13And 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.

 14I 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.

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

 16I 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.

 17And 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.

 18Seemeth 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?

 19And 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.

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

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

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

 23And 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.

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

 25And 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.

 26And 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.

 27And 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.

 28And 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.

 29And 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.

 30Thus 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.

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