2001-03-10 - Messiah: His FInal Call to Israel
Messiah: His Final Call to Israel Series, Part 22
To those of us who are saved people, the following devotional will make complete sense. Yet to Israel as a nation they have yet to discover the truth about Jesus of Nazareth and this would not make sense. The message of Moses and the prophets is to the effect that, when Israel accepts her rejected Messiah, He will return, lift the curse from the earth, establish His throne in Jerusalem, and reign over all the nations. The Bible holds the keys to real peace. The Final Call Series has gone to great length to describe in detail those events which will bring about peace in the middle east. What can you and I do today to shall we say "cooperate" with God in these matters? We can read this series, and pray for the eyes of Israel to be enlightened to behold the wondrous truths within the Bible that this devotional series hopefully describes in bold relief. And now we resume the Series with installment 23 as we take a deeper look at Ezekiel chapter 34
Ezek. 34:1-10 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep. 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 back that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have ye ruled over them. And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and there was none that did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah: As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely forasmuch as my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my sheep; therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.
Since these shepherds are so very unfaithful in caring for the flock entrusted to them, the Lord promises to become a shepherd in order to care for His flock.
Ezek. 34:11 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
This language is specific and forceful. It must be interpreted in the light of the facts presented in the chapter. The shepherds whom the prophet condemns are men, and as men they bear a certain relationship to the people of Israel whom they are supposed to guide and protect. Since as men they fail utterly in the discharge duties, the Lord God says in substances, "I will take upon myself the form of man and as man I will perform faithfully the duties which the shepherds have failed to fulfill"
In order to emphasize Ezekiel's thought and logic, I wish to use this illustration. A stock raiser has a large flock of sheep that has been cared for by a shepherd, or a sheepherder--as shepherds are called in Texas--who has quit his job. This stockman has to get someone or something to take care of his flock. Would he purchase a horse to care for the sheep? No. A cow? No. A dog? No. He will procure the services of a man who can attend to the sheep as a sheepherder does. In like manner, since the shepherds of Israel were unfaithful in the discharge of their duties, God declares that He Himself, is going to dismiss them and perform the duties of a shepherd. In order to do so, the Lord will have to take on the form of a man. This promise, therefore, assumes that one of the divine personalities constituting the Triune God will lay aside temporarily His eternal glory and will take the form of a man, in order to shepherd Israel, His flock. Isaiah foretells how God takes the form of a man, (Isa. 7:14). The gospel records prove that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity did enter the world by miraculous conception and virgin birth. When He came the first time, He preached redemption by the sacrifice of Himself. Not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God, the Hebrews as a nation rejected Him. When He returns at the invitation of penitent Israel, He will shepherd the Chosen People, in fulfillment of the following passage:
Ezek. 34:11-16 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places whither they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture; and upon the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord Jehovah. I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.
According to the promise made by Jesus to His apostles, they will assist in shepherding the Chosen People.
Matt. 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
It is probable that Jeremiah 3:15 refers to the apostles who assist in shepherding Israel "And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."
Other saved, glorified people may also assist in shepherding the Chosen People. You and I certainly after learning the facts can share them in a loving way with Jewish friends and neighbors. In fact if you would like you may give them a copy of this series to read. We can pray for the Lords will to unfold. Please share the series with your friends. Many of you have asked me where the rest of the series may be found online so if you point your browser to this address you will find The Final Call Series" Thank you for your prayers. The Final Call Series may be found at this address online http://www.cfdevotionals.org/links/devseris.htm
In His Service,