Sheep are dumb. They follow whomever, wander off, and get lost often. “‘And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God,’ declares the Lord God” (Ezekiel 34:31). It is not a flattering metaphor, but worse are the shepherds who should care for the sheep. “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?’” (Ezekiel 34:2). Instead, Ezekiel condemns the fat leaders of Israel who “eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep” (Ezekiel 34:3). That presidents and kings, governors, legislators and the like neglect their sheep in pursuit of profit and power and pleasure was as true then as it is now.
If you want something done right, do it yourself, and God does. “For thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out’” (Ezekiel 34:11), and now Ezekiel the prophet speaks of God’s future,“I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd” (Ezekiel 34:23). Except David, the King, is long dead and gone. Ezekiel could only be speaking of another.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” ~Matthew 21:9
Hosanna means save us and the sheep were, at last, following the right shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” ~John 10:11
Oh Lord, You are my Shepherd, the good Shepherd who rescues me from slaughter of my own making. I am prone to wander, and You are forever watchful. You prod me and nudge me, and sometimes You just have to pick me up and set me aright. Thank You for caring for me more than I care for myself.
God, may I learn Your ways. May I pick up Your staff, as well, and guide others toward the good Shepherd. May I be ever watchful and care enough to sacrifice myself for the sake of Your sheep.