IF I was to have another baby boy, I would name him Ezekiel (meaning “God strengthens”). I adore this name and especially the nickname, Zeke. This moniker fits with the rest of the names of my sons. They are Samuel, Noah, Josiah, and Micah. My husband is Daniel. We took the Jewish name route. However, the birthing ship sailed from our harbor 14 years ago, so no baby Ezekiel for this fam. By the way, if that birthing ship sailed back in (after being released from intensive shock therapy), I might win an “Oldish-Lady Birthing Record” for my region. I did hear that Janet Jackson had a baby at age 50.
Lord bless her.
Anyway, back to Ezekiel. Zeke was a major prophet in the Old Testament. This guy preached to the Israelites held captive in Babylon; sort of a street corner preacher with a dramatic flair. He announced God’s plans for the fall of Jerusalem, and he admonished the people for their attachment to foreign nations and wicked ways. In the hopeful end of the book of Ezekiel, He foretold of future salvation for the children of God.
Today I want to hone in on some of Ezekiel 34. This passage of promise reinvigorated me as I read it recently. I encourage you to read chapter 34, you will find rich messianic metaphors of God as our Shepherd. Beautiful and woeful stuff.
Moved as I read, when by verse 16, tears dripped on my Bible as hope welled in my soul.
I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick… (Ezekiel 34:16a, NKJV)
In my journal, I script prayers for dear ones with seemingly impossible situations. I pray each day for two troubled young people. Sometimes their conditions seem beyond hope. Their depression and lostness beyond help. This Ezekiel passage freshly reminds me of God’s relentless love as the words jump from the page and hug me.
Also found on the pages of my journal are stories and remembrances of answered prayers and God’s faithfulness. Chronicles of healed souls, healed families and healed bodies. Myself included. These personal accounts and the words of Ezekiel increase my courage and remind me to pray big prayers, to claim the lost and the broken for Christ. I am grateful to Ezekiel for painting a picture of our Good Shepherd who has marked His sheep with His stripes of love.
- Seeks and Searches for the lost (verse 11)
- Delivers his sheep from their scattered places ( verse 12)
- Brings them to their own land (verse 13)
- Feeds them in good pastures (verse 14)
- Restores the lost (verse 16)
- Brings back what was driven away (verse 16)
- Binds up the broken (verse 16)
- Strengthens what was sick (verse 16)
“Christ chooses us, buys us, calls us by name,
makes us His own,
and delights in
caring for us.”
W. Phillip Keller
My friend, can you proudly say, “The Lord is my shepherd”?
Are you under His charge?
Do you trust God’s words from Ezekiel as you pray for your scattered, broken or sick loved ones?
Are you comforted in the knowledge that your Shepherd seeks out the lost?
Renew yourself in God’s word, enliven your prayers with expectation! I urge you to spend time in reflection, thanks, and petition today as you ponder the questions above and read the words of our hope-dispensing prophet Zeke.
Gosh, I love this name. Maybe my next dog?