Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12 - How does this apply?

Certainly, if you are a brother in the office, then you have probably felt Ezekiel 34's words cut you to the heart as I have. Or if not in the office, but you are a brother in Christ, perhaps you feel the sting of v. 17-22. For I have shepherded for my own gain, and I have consumed the Lord's goodness while trampling down His blessings for others.
Certainly that is a true and valid application. But maybe we should find joy in this passage by recognizing the Lord's gracious goodness in it. For we could also validly see ourselves as the ones saved in this passage. Other false shepherds and sheep before us would have ruined and cut us off from the Lord's blessings - yet He would not have us be scattered forever. And so the Lord Himself comes as the Son of David to gather us as His sheep into His salvation. Yes, we have been victimized by others, but the Shepherd binds up our wounds.
Getting back to the first part, our own failures to be the shepherd and/or sheep highlight all the more that we cannot boast, but have been justified by His grace as His gift (Romans 3).
(Not that we should try to highlight the goodness of God's gift with more evil from us, but then that was yesterday's reading - Romans 3:5-8).

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