New Men’s Devotional Bible

SHEEP DON’T NEED TO STARVE

Today’s Bible ReadingEzekiel 34:20–31

Recommended ReadingNehemiah 5:1–5Isaiah 40:11John 10:1–18

In the winter of 1910–1911 a freak storm dropped three feet of snow on Syria. Before the snow finally melted, hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats had died.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t the cold that had killed them. Instead, they had died because they couldn’t find any food. The shepherds couldn’t clear enough snow from the ground to uncover the livestock’s regular food supply.

In the book of Ezekiel God promises his people that he will do for them what the rulers of Judah have failed to do: He will be their shepherd, the one who will watch out for their best interests, unlike the rulers who have allowed the Israelites to falter and fail. Through God’s admonition of those rulers who have acted selfishly and failed to enforce the law of God, he promises that the people will be restored. And their future king will be a true Shepherd.

God makes the same promise to us. He offers a relationship between the Shepherd and the sheep—an intimate fellowship between God and humanity. Like a tender shepherd he searches for his sheep wherever they might roam. He desires to lovingly return lost sheep to his fold. When we’re lost—wandering around, searching for spiritual food and longing for the safety of his strong arms—God, the Shepherd, lovingly rescues us.

To Take Away

  • Do you picture God as a harsh and unloving judge or as a tender and loving shepherd? What steps can you take to gain a more accurate understanding of what God is like?
  • When have you felt lost and alone? How did God help you through those times?
  • Does your life show that God is your shepherd and rescuer? Do you live a relationship of trust and dependence on him? Why or why not?

In Other Words

“You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind-legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men.” —Sir Max Beerbohm

Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.

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