Our Daily Bread 28th August 2020 Devotional – God Our Rescuer
Today’s Topic: God Our Rescuer
Bible in a Year: Psalms 123–125; 1 Corinthians 10:1–18
Key Verse : “I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered”. Ezekiel 34:12
Today’s Scripture: Ezekiel 34:5–12 (NIV)
5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”
God, the True Shepherd
11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
Insight: Our Daily Bread 28th August 2020 Devotional
According to Bible scholar Kenneth Bailey, Ezekiel 34:5–12 is one of nine times in Scripture where the imagery of shepherd and sheep is a metaphor for critically important relationships.
Sometimes, the shepherd is God Himself or Jesus (Psalm 23; Psalm 95; Matthew 18:10–14; Luke 15:3–7; John 10:7–18), sometimes the shepherd represents Israel’s corrupt leadership (Jeremiah 23:1–8; Ezekiel 34:1–8; Zechariah 10:1–12), and sometimes it’s church leaders (1 Peter 5:1–4).
As such, sometimes the sheep are Israel’s faithful remnant, sometimes the people of Israel in general (Mark 6:30–44), and other times the sheep are believers in Christ.
To the ancient world, the relationship of shepherd and sheep was a familiar one and as a result formed a very accessible picture of the healthy relationships between God and His people and the danger of exploitation by false shepherds.
TODAY’S MESSAGE: OUR DAILY BREAD 28TH AUGUST 2020 DEVOTIONAL
In the open sea, a rescuer positioned her kayak to assist panicked swimmers competing in a triathlon. “Don’t grab the middle of the boat!” she called to swimmers, knowing such a move would capsize her craft. Instead, she directed weary swimmers to the bow, or front, of the kayak. There they could grab a loop, allowing the safety kayaker to help rescue them.
Whenever life or people threaten to pull us under, as believers in Jesus, we know we have a Rescuer. “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep . . . . I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered” (Ezekiel 34:11–12).
This was the prophet Ezekiel’s assurance to God’s people when they were in exile. Their leaders had neglected and exploited them, plundering their lives and caring “for themselves rather than for [God’s] flock” (v. 8). As a result, the people “were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them” (v. 6).
But “I will rescue my flock,” declared the Lord (v. 10), and His promise still holds.
What do we need to do? Hold fast to almighty God and His promises. “I myself will search for my sheep and look after them,” He says (v. 11). That’s a saving promise worth holding tightly. By: Patricia Raybon
Reflect : When you feel panicked, what’s your typical reaction? What problem can you release today as you reach instead for God?
Today’s Prayer : Our rescuing God, when life makes me panic, encourage me to turn from the rolling waves and always reach for You.
Thank you for reading Today’s Our Daily Bread 28th August 2020 Devotional – God Our Rescuer