One Shepherd

Scripture

I will establish over them One Shepherd, my servant David, and He will shepherd them. He will tend them Himself and will be their shepherd.

~ Ezekiel 34:23 (CSB)

Quote

You don’t realize that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.

~Tim Keller

Ezekiel 34 always convicts me...Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves instead of My flock...Wow, what an indictment on self-serving pastors. Ezekiel has an extensive list of pastoral responsibilities: We are to tend the flock, strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bandage up the injured, bring back the strays and seek the lost. This is a good format for any pastor to follow. Israel’s shepherd failed, just as Shepherds today have failed. They were self-serving. Instead of tending to the flock, they were feeding off the flock. They were also showing blatant partiality by giving preferential treatment to the wealthy. In other words, they were miserable failures. Do I feel guilty for the failures in my pastoral ministry? Yes, I do and this passage always makes me feel uneasy. I will say this, the last thing I want to do is to take advantage of the flock or to use them for my own personal gain. I don’t want to do this or even be accused of such behavior but I learned years ago; people will accuse you of anything they please, true or not. We live in the age of slander where people think nothing of destroying another’s reputation with slander and false accusations. But my focus today is not on my failures or of those who pass judgment upon us for our failures. God has known from the beginning that we are terribly flawed and there are no exceptions. We humans cannot do anything right: we cannot please our heavenly Father. I’ve never heard the voice from the cloud say to me, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” and neither have you. Jesus is the only man who ever lived a perfect life and one that met all the righteous requirement of a holy and perfect God.

There is no doubt about it, Ezekiel 34:23 is about JESUS the Good Shepherd. The name David is code for Jesus. God knew all along that we couldn’t get the job done but Jesus came and did it for us. He lived a perfect life in our behalf and he died an atoning death in our behalf. Jesus is the GREAT SHEPHERD, the CHIEF SHEPHERD and the GOOD SHEPHERD. Everything we are not, He is; everything we need, He has. He has no flaws: He knows no failures and He loves us like but more than a shepherd loves his sheep. When David said in Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want,” he was simply stating the fact that Jesus is all we need. The Palestinian shepherd could meet the needs of the flock: He could lead them, guide them, feed them, protect them, doctor them, comfort them, etc. Jesus Christ can meet every need we have. I am not the answer to your needs or problems and neither is religion or education or money but JESUS IS THE ANSWER. Remember, Jonah didn’t need any help in rebelling against the LORD or going to Joppa or boarding a ship, but when he got caught in the belly of the whale or fish, he cried out to God. Eventually, we all need God’s help. David said, “The fool says to himself, NO God.” Thanks for offering Jesus but I’m good, I don’t need YOU. This is the way a fool thinks but unfortunately for the fool, he or she is not calling the shots. Every knee will bow!

  • Betty Blackwood, after a long battle with COPD, went to be with the LORD yesterday {Oct. 16} a little after 3:00 P.M. Nothing definite, but the family will be looking at Thursday. I am relieved that Betty is no longer suffering. Not being able to breathe is traumatic. This is Keith’s mom and also the mom of our DOM.
  • Ray is in what we use to call Parkway Medical Center. I don’t know anything definite but I think he will be there for at least three days. I can say this, the BLOCK PARTY was perfect timing. Mary planned the date and she did a good job. I do hate that more of his friends did not show up but I am thankful that we got it in. His main problme seems to be his blood sugar.
  • Well, I asked the LORD for a good rain and He provided: Praise the LORD.
  • Willard Mom, Jackie Stiles is at home and happy as a lark. She wanted some crowder peas and we carried her some yesterday. I will check on Roger and the others today.

HAS AMERICA BEEN DIVIDED BEFORE?

The answer to the above question is yes, and I have a fact sheet that proves the point:

  • Before the war for our independence: Americans were badly divided–one third were torries, loyal to the crown; one third were indifferent, didn’t give a rip one way or the other and one third were PATRIOTS [in favor of the war.
  • An estimated 50,000 Americans fought with the British.
  • An estimated 80-100,000 Tories left the Colonies; most went to Canada.
  • Most Tories were businessmen who stood to lose a profit.
  • The Tory stronghold was New York City {not much has changed}.
  • The Hessians, German mercenaries, had a 50/50 change of returning home after being deployed.
  • Over 100,000 Americans died during the war; more than half died from disease, exposure and malnutrition.
  • The British killed more in their prison camps than they did on the battle field.
  • In 1775 Great Britain had 8 million people while the Colonies had a little more than two million.
  • Philadelphia was our largest city with a population of 34,000. New York City was the size of Athens, Alabama with a population of 22,000. Boston was slightly bigger than NY City.
  • The German¬†mercenaries, know as Hessians were paid very little: they were sent here by German over Lords who were paid handsomely for their services. More than one out of ten [16%} deserted and defected to the US.
  • An estimated 250,000 American participated in the War effort but that was over a period of eight years. Washington largest army at any given time was 35,000 men.

 

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