“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers in all the places where people live. Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in lush mountain pastures. I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak” (Ezekiel 34:11-16).
When I read these words, I felt comforted. I have a Shepherd who will come looking for me if I stray. He will bring me safely back home again. If I am hurt, He will bind me up and if I am weak, He will strengthen me. I have a Shepherd who will care for me—make sure that I am well fed. He will bless me with peace.
These words must have lifted the spirits of the Israelites who were away from their homeland. They were homesick and God reassured them that they would return to their own land. He promised them, “I will give them land famous for its crops, so My people will never again go hungry or be shamed by the scorn of foreign nations. In this way, they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are My people, says the Sovereign Lord. You are My flock, the sheep of My pasture. You are My people, and I am your God, says the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 34:29-31).
Today, we have been promised a better place, a heavenly homeland which God has prepared for us because He is not ashamed to be called our God. We are told, “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come” (Hebrews 11:16; 13:14). One day soon, our Shepherd will come back to lead His sheep to the heavenly pastureland where we can lie down in peace. What a joyful day that would be!