We begin the first of two looks at the Book of Ezekiel this weekend. Ezekiel was a priest-prophet who was one of the 10,000 taken in 593 BC and led captive to Babylon. He is a contemporary (yet younger) of Jeremiah. However he prophecies from Babylon. By the time we get to ch. 34 the fall of Jerusalem has taken place (586 BC) and his message begin to include elements of hope.
Despite the failures of God’s leaders, God has not abandoned his people and he is on the move.
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.” (34:11)
This is ultimately seen in Christ – the good shepherd caring for his sheep. The chapter also gives us a picture of the final redemptive work of the cross, when all things are restored.
Jimmy’s Main Points
- Divine Intervention
- Good Shepherd
- How do you generally handle catastrophes (life-altering events)? Do you minimize them? Are you moved to despair?
- Was it helpful to think of judgment in comparison to the illustration of a parent disciplining their children?
- How does the job of shepherd translate into your context?
- Ezekiel 34:11ff are words of hope to God’s people who are desperately in need of hope. Share with one another some words of hope in your past and present. What are the most hope-filled words you cling to for your future?
- Ezekiel 34 contrasted good and bad shepherds. List some of the ways in which Jesus is the Good Shepherd. How do these actions/characteristics impact you?