Saturday after Misericordias Domini
Scripture: Ezekiel 34:23-31 (NKJV)
“‘”23 I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.
25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God.’
31 “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.'”
The Lord gives His people a gracious promise in today’s lesson. “I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their Shepherd.” Ezekiel writes this prophecy during the Babylonian captivity, many generations after David was dead and buried. He goes on, “I the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them.” The Lord isn’t promising to resurrect the long dead David. David, the great saint, was still very much a sinner. David’s return wouldn’t solve Israel’s problems. Instead of providing another Davidic heir after the exile, the Lord promises the ultimate shepherd: Himself.
The Lord Himself would shepherd His people and feed them with His Word. To do this He would have to assume human flesh. These words of the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel are a promise of the incarnation of the Son of God. “My servant David” is the one the Lord will establish as shepherd over His people. Yet in yesterday’s lesson, the Lord declared He would take it upon Himself to rescue His sheep and feed them. This chapter concludes when the Lord declares that Israel (the Church) is the Lord’s flock. This is a picture of the incarnation. The Son of God assumes human flesh and says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” He demonstrates this by feeding His people with His gospel promise and laying down His life to atone for the sheep’s sins, then by taking His life up again to justify all who believe the promise of His gospel. Jesus is our Good Shepherd, God Himself in human flesh, King David’s greater son.
Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, thank You for assuming our human flesh in order to bear our sin and be our savior. Amen.