"Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.Ezekiel 34:23(NASB)
Ezekiel the prophet was given some astonishing visions of the glory of God and delivered many of his prophetic words of warning through acting out on the stage of life the approaching judgements of God.. on the increasingly apostate nation of Israel. He was the main player in God's one-man cast, that described in detail the approaching doom and the eventual restoration of his people.
He forewarned that the glory of God would leave the holy Temple in Jerusalem and prophesised of the downfall of the false prophets and prophetesses. He listed the many idolatrous practices into which God's chosen people had fallen and lamented when he rehearsed the inevitable judgement that was to fall upon the daughters of Israel and their fast approaching exile from the beautiful land that he loved so much.
But like so many holy men of God who were used to pen the Old Testament Scriptures for our learning, Ezekiel also gave a promise of Israel's eventual restoration and their return to the land of Israel. He gave advanced warning of different signs to watch for, which would announce a time when the dry bones of the scattered nation of Israel would be resurrected back to life, by the regenerating breath of the Spirit of God - a time when the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah would once again be reunited as one nation under God.. and reunified under the sovereign rule of the Almighty, through the Lord JESUS - His anointed King and promised Messiah.
One very clear prophetic word of encouragement was that God would set over them one Shepherd. That good and great shepherd of the sheep was the one Who would be called Faithful and True. God described Him as: My servant David, Who will feed them. He will feed them Himself and they will be His people and He will be their eternal Shepherd.
Christ Jesus is the one that is being described here.. for as a shepherd who cares for His flock, it is Christ Who will shepherd His people Israel. He will feed them and protect them and lead them beside still waters, for His names sake. He will defend them from the attacks of their enemies and His rod and staff will both comfort and correct them.
There are many that like to say that God has replaced Israel with the Church, but those pronouncements do not heed the truth of the Word of God, Whose promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus and Whose Word stands fast for ever and ever. Let us never forget that the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. The promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and David stand firm and are irrevocable.
Let us pray for the people of God and the coming kingdom of Christ, Whose word is unchanging, Whose truth is unchangeable and Whose kingdom will never fail.
Heavenly Father, thank You that the Lord Jesus is our good and faithful shepherd, and thank You that I have been brought into the great sheepfold of Your love. We pray for Your people Israel.. that many would come to trust in Christ as their Messiah. And we praise Your holy name that the day is coming when great David's greater Son will one day rule and reign as King of kings of Lord of lords. Thank You that in His grace He will feed the little remnant flock of Israel Himself.. and will be their good and faithful Shepherd - in Whose name we pray, AMEN.