Focus Verse: My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. (31)
May God never have to say the same about us. Do we see His Word as a book of beautiful love songs that are nice to read, wonderful to memorize, and eloquent to recite without putting those words into practice? We are not to just hear the Word. We are not to just listen to the Word. We are to put the Word into practice.
Focus Verse: I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. (23)
After so many chapters dealing with destruction and death, this is a beautiful one indeed. Ezekiel prophesies against the false, selfish shepherds of Israel who only look after themselves and do not protect the flock under their care. He promises to punish them and do away with them. In their place, He will send one shepherd – “my servant David” – which is a reference to Jesus the Christ Who is the Good Shepherd. This shepherd will search for the sheep who were scattered, and when he finds them, he will bring them into their own land and look after them. He will heal the injured and strengthen the weak. He will shepherd the flock with justice and no one will ever snatch them out of His hand.
Just as God hates selfish shepherds, He also hates charlatan Christians who have a position of authority. Instead of being a blessing to those under their care, they abuse their power to obtain selfish gain.
1 Peter 5
Focus Verse: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (7)
This is a command that is so easy to forget. I can’t count the hundreds of times that I have forgotten it. Instead of handing all our problems over to God, we spend many sad days and lonely nights worrying about them. God does not want us to be anxious about anything. He wants us to cast everything on Him because He cares for us.