This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Daily devotional - Following the Good Shepherd - Sheep and Shepherds in the Bible - sheep eating from the Shepherds pouch. July 2021 - Following the Good Shepherd - Sheep and Shepherds in the Bible - sheep eating from the Shepherds pouch.

Daily Devotional | Scandalous Shepherds

How do you know who to trust? In today’s world, it is easy to be deceived. We’ve all received “official-sounding” phone calls or emails that appear legitimate, but are actually aiming to harm or manipulate us. We’ve seen advertisements for miracle cures for weight loss, promising instant results with minimal effort. But after the money is paid, the product doesn’t deliver results. The aim is not to help, but to harm or take advantage of us.

In the same way, the “shepherds” in today’s reading were supposed to be genuine but were actually fake. Instead of acting as godly leaders who would serve and care for their people, they used their power to mislead and exploit them. These false shepherds— the rulers of Judah, as we know from the previous chapter—were worse than neglectful. They acted with actual malevolence, “destroying and scattering” the sheep (vv. 1–2; see also Ezek. 34:1–6).

They not only failed to do their job; they actually behaved as the enemy of the sheep. The Lord would punish them severely for this! God would fix the problem by becoming their Shepherd Himself. In historical context, the images in verses 3–4 describe the Jews’ return from Exile and faithful leaders such as Ezra and Nehemiah. The sheep would then be safe, secure, and cared for 

In the long run, God would do even more for His people (vv. 5–6). He would one day raise up a “righteous Branch” or a Davidic king, that is, the Messiah, the ideal King (see Isa. 11:1–5). He will reign with wisdom, justice, and righteousness, and His name will be “The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” This is a Messianic prophecy, and at the same time, it is God keeping His promise to be His people’s Shepherd by sending His own Son.

>> Messianic prophecy has emerged as a major theme in our study of shepherd and sheep imagery in the Bible. To learn more on this topic, we recommend The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy.

Pray with Us

Holy God, we are in awe of Your incarnate Son, fully God and fully Man. Thank You for giving us the Word of God. He is the hope of the “harassed and helpless” (Matt. 9:36), delivering us from sin and deception.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month