EZEKIEL 34:15-16: “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What is the heart of God? As one reads the book of Ezekiel it may appear that judgment is the heart of God. Yet, in all the judgment that is pronounced against the ungodly there is one objective that is always made clear. The heart of God is to seek and save the lost, to bind up the injured, strengthen the weak, and release those who have been the victims of injustice.
There is no distinction or change in the heart of God from Genesis to Revelation. God’s heart has always been to rescue and restore His people. Man chose sin in the Garden, and since that destructive choice the Lord has been working to redeem and rescue man from his sin and its’ destructive consequences. The heart of man is stubborn and rebellious. The heart of God is purposed and faithful. In the Garden the Lord made His promise of redemption to Adam and Eve when He declared…
- “The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”” (Genesis 3:14-15 ESV)
God’s anger and judgment was directed toward Satan and his deception. There would come a day when the seed of woman would bruise his head and break his power over mankind. This day came when Jesus Christ proclaimed the anointing of God upon His life.
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)
Jesus came to set free those who had been scattered, broken, blinded, and oppressed by the enemy. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Jesus came to physically and dynamically reveal the heart of the Father to a broken and dying world. This is the same heart that is revealed in Genesis, in Ezekiel, and in Revelation. God’s desire is that all men should repent and come to the knowledge of the truth. Israel’s shepherds did not share this heart. Therefore, God Himself promised to come and be their (and our) Great Shepherd.
As I reflect upon this, I have to ask myself – “How does my life reflect the heart of God?” Am I more like the shepherds of Israel, or am I more like the Great Shepherd? Am I seeking my own comfort and security, or am I seeking the benefit and welfare of others? Do I expect others to serve me, or am I looking for ways to serve others and to be a blessing? If a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ – am I truly walking in His footsteps?
Lord, search me and know me. Look into my heart and set me free from a life that is focused on my own personal comfort and is not directed toward helping others. Give me a burden for the lost, compassion for the broken, and feet that are quick to share the good news of Jesus Christ’s love to those in need. Help me be a true reflection of Your Heart!
In Jesus Name!