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Ezekiel 34

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Ezekiel 34 is an excellent chapter on numerous subjects.

1. In verses 1-6 it is painfully obvious that the religious leaders in Israel were not soul-winners and had no interest in the average Jew. The beasts of the field is a good description of the pagan, and lost religions of this world who are destroying the souls of men through false doctrine.

2. In verses 7-10 God denounces the lost shepherds (religious ministers) of Israel. This is exactly what the Lord Jesus did to the shepherds of the nation of Israel in His age: Matthew 23

3. In verses 11-16 is a  wonderful description of the Great Shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ and His love for the souls of men.

      A. The man of God should love the sheep. John 21:15-19

      B. God, the Lord Jesus, is seeking the lost. Luke 16:19-31

4. In verses 17-22 one day God will judge us for our efforts.

5. In verses 23-31 is a great promise that one day God will raise up David to be the Sheperd over Israel during the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ in Revelation 20:4-6. See also Ezekiel chapter 40-48

As a reference, see Ezekiel 36:37 & 38

Great chapter!

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
scripture reference number sequence
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I don't have a sermon but I have observed a little about sheep.

Right now, we have two 4 month-old rams which have fallen behind the rest. In feeding the flock,  these little guys began to "defer" to the rest. When a sheep is not aggressive enough at the feed trough, it gets pushed aside with usually just a push or "shouldering in". At other times, a particularly aggressive sheep will forcefully butt the weaker one with it's head. If the weaker sheep doesn't get enough feed, it quickly gets weaker. This is what has happened.

When stronger sheep push weaker ones aside, they also tend to put their feet into the food and will sometimes even climb onto the trough and stand in it with their dirty feet which are always contaminated with soil and feces. The feces contains the eggs of parasites. Stronger sheep can smell the contaminated feed, or grass, whichever the case is at the time, and will turn their noses up and leave it. Unfortunately, the weaker ones may eat some of the contaminants which were left, and this only makes them sicker and weaker. This is when the shepherd must intervene.

An observant shepherd, quickly notices the ones which are "standoffish", and can tell from their body posture and actions that they need extra attention. The two little guys at our farm have been being fed separately from the main flock for several days now. I gave them the last injection of antibiotics yesterday morning and will be monitoring them for several days more.

Standoffish sheep are usually the ones which are fearful of the shepherd. They are the ones which don't hold tight to the flock when it's being moved. They are the last ones to go through the gates, the last ones to the trough, and they have much greater "flight zones". Whereas some sheep will come near the shepherd, eat from his hand and even come into physical contact, others never do; they stand fearfully distant. This can be overcome only with time and patience. Even a wild sheep can become socialized to a human when he cares enough to take the time to gain their trust. And these socialized sheep end up being the healthiest, not only because they are diligently cared for, but also as a result of the dynamic that they are no longer afraid of the shepherd.

 

 

 

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I know that all has to do with Israel but it applies even today. A hireling who just doesn't care for sheep, will never take the time to become "close friends" with them and a lazy hireling will never pull them aside to care for their illnesses. The sick ones will die and the fearful and bullied ones will just leave and neither would ever add to the flock or benefit The Shepherd. But the good news is, the Good Shepherd knows his sheep. He isn't selfish or lazy and He will round up all the strays and he will make friends with them.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

 

.

Edited by heartstrings
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Heartstrings,

Thank you for your insight on the behaviour of sheep, the shepherd, and hirelings. I think the illustrations were very appropriate to the subject matter of Ezekiel 34.

The wise pastor would probably include the illustration of the wise shepherd in preaching Ezekiel 34 and the other passages of good shepherds verses evil shepherds (hirlings).

Isaiah 41:10 is a great reference also as it shows the heart, and actions, of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  And, it brings out the character of God in the Old Testament as the Good Shepherd and the character of the Lord Jesus in the New Testamant as the Good Shepherd.

Thank you very much for the illustration.

Alan

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

So Will I Seek Out My Sheep
Ezekiel 34:11-16

 

(Note: In its immediate context this passage speaks concerning the Lord God’s intention to restore his chosen nation, the children of Israel, unto His fellowship and unto their promised land.  However, from this passage we may also learn from the example of the Lord our God, as the Good Shepherd, concerning the character of good shepherding.)

 

  Ia.  The Good Shepherd seeks after His scattered sheep.

  Ib.  Good shepherding requires that we seek after the sheep who are scattered in sin.

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

IIa.  The Good Shepherd delivers His scattered sheep.

IIb.  Good shepherding requires that we strive to deliver the sheep from the darkness of sin.

         “And will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.”

IIIa.  The Good Shepherd gathers His sheep unto Himself.

IIIb.  Good shepherding requires that we lead the sheep unto fellowship with the Lord.

         “And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries.”

IVa.  The Good Shepherd feeds His sheep in a good pasture.

IVb.  Good shepherding requires that we feed the sheep the sound doctrine of God’s Word.

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

  Va.  The Good Shepherd grants His sheep peace and rest.

  Vb.  Good shepherding requires that we guide the sheep to the Lord’s peace and rest.

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

VIa.  The Good Shepherd strengthens the unhealthy sheep.

VIb.  Good Shepherding requires that we strive to strengthen the sheep who are broken by sin.

         “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
.”

VIIa.  The Good Shepherd disciplines the selfish sheep.

VIIb.  Good shepherding requires that we reprove the sheep who are selfish and self-righteous.

           “But I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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I don't have a sermon but I have observed a little about sheep.

Right now, we have two 4 month-old rams which have fallen behind the rest. In feeding the flock,  these little guys began to "defer" to the rest. When a sheep is not aggressive enough at the feed trough, it gets pushed aside with usually just a push or "shouldering in". At other times, a particularly aggressive sheep will forcefully butt the weaker one with it's head. If the weaker sheep doesn't get enough feed, it quickly gets weaker. This is what has happened.

When stronger sheep push weaker ones aside, they also tend to put their feet into the food and will sometimes even climb onto the trough and stand in it with their dirty feet which are always contaminated with soil and feces. The feces contains the eggs of parasites. Stronger sheep can smell the contaminated feed, or grass, whichever the case is at the time, and will turn their noses up and leave it. Unfortunately, the weaker ones may eat some of the contaminants which were left, and this only makes them sicker and weaker. This is when the shepherd must intervene.

An observant shepherd, quickly notices the ones which are "standoffish", and can tell from their body posture and actions that they need extra attention. The two little guys at our farm have been being fed separately from the main flock for several days now. I gave them the last injection of antibiotics yesterday morning and will be monitoring them for several days more.

Standoffish sheep are usually the ones which are fearful of the shepherd. They are the ones which don't hold tight to the flock when it's being moved. They are the last ones to go through the gates, the last ones to the trough, and they have much greater "flight zones". Whereas some sheep will come near the shepherd, eat from his hand and even come into physical contact, others never do; they stand fearfully distant. This can be overcome only with time and patience. Even a wild sheep can become socialized to a human when he cares enough to take the time to gain their trust. And these socialized sheep end up being the healthiest, not only because they are diligently cared for, but also as a result of the dynamic that they are no longer afraid of the shepherd.

 

 

 

Thank you!  This was perfect, I also love the shepherding analogy.  You all blessed my heart with this.  Sometimes I read the Bible and I know there is more than what I can gather out of the passage, but I am not able to always see it for myself.  Gods Word is so good :) 

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