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With New Testament Eyes: 77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick

By Henry Mahan

      Ezekiel 34:1-6

      The Lord has been pleased to use prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastor-teachers to preach the gospel of his grace to his people that they may hear, believe, and be converted (Eph. 4:10-14). 'It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe' (1 Cor. 1:21). While these men are called 'shepherds,' the Lord Jesus is the chief shepherd, the good shepherd, and our great shepherd. These undershepherds labor as his servants, stewards of the grace of God, and as those who must give an account of their stewardship (Heb. 13:17; Luke 16:2).

      Our text begins with the Lord's rebuking some unfaithful preachers who have not done what they were called to do.

      v. 2. Their first concern was for themselves and not for the sheep. Should not a true shepherd's first concern be for the well-being of his flock?

      v. 3. These preachers eat well, live well, and are clothed and cared for by the sheep; but, while they take from the flock, they do not feed them the word! Isaiah said, 'They all look to their own gain' (Isa. 56:10-11).

      v. 4. In this verse we encounter for the first time four words which are found later in this chapter to describe the ministry of our chief shepherd, the Lord Jesus! Here is the charge against the shepherds: 'You have not sought that which was lost.' 'You have not brought again that which was driven away.' 'You have not bound up that which was broken.' 'You have not healed that which was sick.'

      If this is the ministry of the chief shepherd, then it should be our ministry. If this is the work of our Saviour-God, then let us who preach and teach his word, who are called to feed his sheep, study his person and work and be about our Master's business (John 10:14-16).

      vv. 11-16. He says, 'I will both search my sheep and seek them out' (v.11); 'I will feed them in good pastures (v. 14); 'I will feed my flock and cause them to lie down' (v. 15). And, as he has always used faithful men, he will raise them up and send them to his sheep today! But the under-shepherds must understand the character of his sheep and the character of his gospel, which is given in Verse 16 using these four words--lost, driven away, broken, sick!

      'I will seek that which is lost.' This is a term our Lord used often to refer to those whom he came to save. 'The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost' (Luke 19:10; Matt. 10:6; 15:24). A lost sheep is away from the fold, separated from the shepherd's care, does not know the way back, and has no power nor ability to return to the fold. Paul describes us as 'without Christ, having no hope and without God' (Eph. 2:l2).

      The good news of the gospel is that our Lord will seek that which was lost. He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:10-13). He will seek and save the lost sheep and welcome home the lost son.

      'I will bring again that which was driven away.' What took the sheep away from the shepherd? We are out in the wilderness of shame and iniquity, away from God. How did we get in this condition? 'Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you' (Isa. 59:2).

      (1) The fall of Adam has driven us away from God (Rom. 5:12), and (2) our vain, religious ceremonies and attempts at selfrighteousness have driven us away from God (Isa. 1:11-15; Rom. 10:1-3). Thank God, he will not leave us away from him, but our Lord Jesus 'died the just for the unjust to bring us to God' (1 Peter 3:18).

      'I will bind up that which is broken.' Read Psalm 34:18 and Psalm 51:17. Is that which is broken good for anything? One cannot see in a broken mirror; one cannot drink from a broken glass; one cannot use a broken arm; one cannot walk with a broken cane. Only the heart is at its best state when it is broken.

      It is acceptable and well-pleasing to God (Psalm 51:17).

      It makes up for defects in our duties (Psalm 51:17).

      The Lord is nigh unto the broken heart (Psalm 34:18).

      The Lord will save the broken heart (Psalm 34:18).

      God dwells with the broken heart (Isa. 57:15; Ezekiel 34:1-6)

      A broken heart implies a godly sorrow over sin, is humble before God, claiming no merit nor goodness, and yields sweet fragrance like a sweet-shrub crushed.

      'I will strengthen that which is sick.' It is true that the Lord sometimes heals his people when they are ill, and sometimes he does not. He is able to deliver us from any distress, trial, or trouble if it is his will to do so. But our sickness in this scripture is a spiritual sickness called sin, iniquity, and transgression.

      Isaiah's prophecy in Isa. 53:4 declares, 'himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses' (Matt. 8:17). Also, 'By his stripes we are healed.' This is not teaching that our bodies will not be sick because of his atonement. We shall endure physical suffering, pain, and death, but not our souls. They are perfectly healed and whole from all disease, sin, and death. 'He that believeth on the Son shall never die' because 'by his stripes we are healed,' perfectly whole forever.

      v. 17. One word must be added. While our Lord delights to show mercy to the lost, driven away, broken hearted, and sick, he will destroy those who think that they are fat, strong, and have no need. Luke 9:11 says, 'He healed them that had need of healing.'

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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