Ezek. 34:11-31 

For thus says the Lord GOD:

            I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

             As shepherds seek out their flocks

                        when they are among their scattered sheep,

                         so I will seek out my sheep.

            I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered

                        on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

             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 on the mountains of Israel,

                        by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.

             I will feed them with good pasture,

                        and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture;

                        there they shall lie down in good grazing land,

                        and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

             I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep,

                        and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.

             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,

                                    but the fat and the strong I will destroy.

                                    I will feed them with justice.


As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD:

            I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats:

             Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture,

                        but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture?

            When you drink of clear water,

                        must you foul the rest with your feet?

             And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet,

                        and drink what you have fouled with your feet?


Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them:

            I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

             Because you pushed with flank and shoulder,

                        and butted at all the weak animals with your horns

                        until you scattered them far and wide,

             I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged;

                        and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

             I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David,

                        and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

             And I, the LORD, will be their God,

                        and my servant David shall be prince among them;

                                    I, the LORD, have spoken.

             I will make with them a covenant of peace

                        and banish wild animals from the land,

                        so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely.

             I will make them and the region around my hill a blessing;

                         and I will send down the showers in their season;

                                     they shall be showers of blessing.

             The trees of the field shall yield their fruit,

                        and the earth shall yield its increase.

            They shall be secure on their soil;

                        and they shall know that I am the LORD,

                                    when I break the bars of their yoke,

                                    and save them from the hands of those who enslaved them.

             They shall no more be plunder for the nations,

                        nor shall the animals of the land devour them;

                                    they shall live in safety,

                                    and no one shall make them afraid.

             I will provide for them a splendid vegetation

                                    so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land,

                                                and no longer suffer the insults of the nations.

             They shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them,

                        and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD.

             You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture

                        and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.


            from Rev. Donald Snyder, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Beckley

            While the flock of Israel has been scattered through exile, God decries the leadership that guided covenant people into this predicament.  To remedy this circumstance the Lord of the covenant makes a threefold declaration:  First, pride of place goes to the idea that God will look out for His sheep. The world may neglect and/or forget us, but God never does.  Second, the promise of justice carries with it two connotations:  retribution for the guilty, and vindication for their victims.  In God’s justice people will reap what they have sown.  Finally, through the realization of the covenant blessing would come proof of the bond between God and His people.  The Good Shepherd will lead God’s people to green pastures.  The Good Shepherd will anoint us in the presence of our enemies.  We will dwell in the house of the Good Shepherd forever.


Great Shepherd, grant us confidence

 in your care for us as your very own sheep.