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No one searched or looked for them

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 

I believe scripture is alive and active. Not only does the author of Hebrews specifically say that: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (4:12), the phenomenon is something I’ve experienced personally. I can attest to the piercing, the dividing, the discerning...the touching and the healing. The living and active word is a grace I’ve learned to look for, to seek!

As I was editing for another writer this week, I started reading her inclusion of Ezekiel 34:1-10. I was on the lookout for typos, etc., but soon I was drinking from a deep, life-giving well. When I came to verse six I read: “My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every
high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.” 

“and no one searched or looked for them.”

Even though I’m not an Israelite, I FELT these words to my core. It’s been my life for three years now, being away from our longtime church, and it was like God was speaking directly to my broken heart by addressing my plight. Reading, I instinctively knew what it feels like to be wounded and bleeding and not be searched for or looked for by church leadership. As I read the relatable words, my breath caught, I shakily exhaled as tears began to form. God sees me. He knows what happened. I’m not alone.

“The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.” (Ezekiel 34:1-10)

I wrote a short comment to the author, telling her how this section of scripture touched me deeply. I moved on with my editing, but wrote the reference down for safekeeping. I would return to the passage later.

That night I opened my Bible to Ezekiel 34 and re-read verses 1-10 before reading the remainder of the chapter. I read some commentary, pondered the biblical context and the overlapping similarities with my experience, and then, with tears in my eyes yet again I read about how the Lord GOD will seek his sheep:

“For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 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.” (34:11-16)

I myself will search and seek. I will rescue. I will bring them out. I will feed them. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I will make them lie down. I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strayed. I will bind up the injured. I will strengthen the weak. I will destroy the fat and strong.” 

I can only try to explain how deep in my spirit I heard those words. It was a balm, a supernatural binding of an experience I will always carry. I was overwhelmed in a wonderful way, pondering my Good Shepherd--Jesus--my Lord, my savior. Reading these verses, I felt seen and wanted in a deeply profound way. 

Do you know what it’s like to be scattered with no one seeking or searching for you? If so, Jesus sees. Cling to Him, beloved. He is near.


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