Today’s Reading: Ezek 34:1–35:15, Rev 17:1–18, Job 37:16–2
Today’s Theme: God’s Sheep
In today’s reading we read about Israel as God’s sheep. This also applies to the church now as Jesus called us sheep and as the Messiah is the Good Shepherd. We read about good and bad leadership and are reminded to pray for our Shepherds / Pastors.
It is wonderful to know that we have been called and chosen as God’s sheep, with the assurance that He will take care of us and lead us home.
The ministry of a pastor
You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:3–4, ESV)
This outlines the ministry of a pastor and includes feeding the sheep with the word of God, strengthening the weaker brothers, healing the sick through prayer, ministering to those in emotional pain, going after the straying sheep, reaching the lost and ruling with gentleness. With this in mind say a prayer for our pastors today.
Sheep need instruction
My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. (Ezekiel 34:6, ESV)
Sheep need guidance, we don’t just need to be led to Christ we need instruction on how to grow in Christ to full maturity.
Sheep need to be led
Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. (Ezekiel 34:10, ESV)
Pray that Christian leaders would not devour the people but lead the people.
God found us
As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. (Ezekiel 34:12, ESV)
We are sheep, we don’t seek God He seeks us so we give Him all the glory for saving us.
God the good shepherd
I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. (Ezekiel 34:15, ESV)
Thank you Lord that you are our good shepherd.
Where leaders fail, God is faithful
I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. (Ezekiel 34:16, ESV)
All that leaders fail to do God will do and God seeks the lost Himself a well as the backslider and the hurting one.
The Messiah as shepherd
And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. (Ezekiel 34:23, ESV)
This is the great shepherd our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our deliverance brings knowledge of God
And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. (Ezekiel 34:27, ESV)
When we are delivered from the enslavement of sin we know that God is the Lord.
Humans are sheep
And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 34:31, ESV)
God makes it very clear that we are the sheep.
Flesh vs Spirit
Because you cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment, (Ezekiel 35:5, ESV)
Like the flesh against the spirit.
As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 35:15, ESV)
Never rejoice at someone else’s misfortune, it may become your own.
with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” (Revelation 17:2, ESV)
This sexual immortality is both political and religious.
Only two religions
And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” (Revelation 17:5, ESV)
The core Babylonian religion behind all world religion. In a sense there are only two religions one is the true worship of Yahweh through Jesus, the other which comes in a variety of flavours is the worship of man (or man’s ideas).
The book of life
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (Revelation 17:8, ESV)
All our names are not in the book of life by default, God knows those who are His.
Called, Chosen and Faithful
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14, ESV)
Thank you Jesus that we are called, chosen and faithful and we will be with You on that great day.
God is in control
for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. (Revelation 17:17, ESV)
God is sovereign over the enemy.
Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge, (Job 37:16, ESV)
God is the only one with perfect knowledge.
Clothed in Majesty
Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. (Job 37:22, ESV)
God is clothed in majesty, wow.
Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.” (Job 37:24, ESV)
Lord keep us from being wise in our own eyes.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Revelation 17