Ra'ah, Shepherd - Ezekiel 34

I know I have read the whole Bible a few times through, because I have used the electronic Bible in a year. But I have to admit that I have not taken significant notice of Ezekiel 34. Maybe I thought ‘hum’, but I did not make any note of it. All of Ezekiel 34, the whole chapter, is an outline of our Lord as Shepherd in comparison to the shepherds of Israel, earthly leaders. The Hebrew word, Ra’ah, is the root for pasture, tend, and graze. It is used in literal and figurative forms, particularly figurative as a ruler or leader.

Ezekiel 34 outlines all the numerous reasons that our Lord is a shepherd, and it follows some of the famous Psalm 23. Starting in verse 11, the Lord says that he himself will:

  • Search for my sheep and look after them

  • Rescue them

  • Pasture them

  • Tend them in good pasture

  • Feed them in rich pasture

  • Have them lie down

  • Search for the lost

  • Bring back strays

  • Bind the injured

  • Strengthen the weak

  • Shepherd the flock in justice

  • Judge between the fat and lean sheep

  • Rid the land of beasts so they live and sleep in safety

  • Send down a shower of blessing

  • Break the yoke

The Lord as our leader, our shepherd, seeks us, leads us to abundant places, strengthens us, heals us, protects us. That he says he will send a shower of blessings is such abundance to even consider; his being our shepherd is blessing enough for me.

When we feel lost or alone, broken or week, hungry or tired, lacking in whatever way, we have the joy to hold on to the Shepherd. The Shepherd has not waited for us to say what condition or need we are in, he sees it and has already provided for it. Protection and peace, healing and rest, all provided for by the shepherd. There is a certain security in this, knowing that he has and will take care of all things for us, each of us individually. I pray that He open my eyes to show me how he shepherds me. I pray that He open our eyes to show us how he shepherds us. I pray that He open your eyes to show you how he shepherds you.

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