Two weeks ago, my church, Believers Church, started a new series called Once Upon a Time. During this series, we are looking at 8 specific parables told by Jesus. The first parable we reviewed was The Good Shepard found in John 10:1-42. I wrote a post about this very passage several months back called Are You Sheepish? You can read that post at
This week, I want to focus on another passage that parallels the scripture verses in the book of John, but is found in Ezekiel. It was mentioned as extra reading for our Be Group (or Small Group) study. So turn with me to Ezekiel 34:1-24.*
I love how the Bible weaves together the old and the new. The Lord often uses simple imagery to get His point across. In the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, we see shepherds and sheep, but occasionally goats are thrown into the mix. In these passages we will look at, Ezekiel is speaking to the people of Israel. As is the case with many Old Testament Scriptures, the meaning behind the Scriptures still rings true today.
Let’s start with the shepherds:
Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? …This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock.” … Ezekiel 34: 1-2, 10
The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Ezekiel 37:1-2 NLT
In this Old Testament passage, God gives Ezekiel a vision of a large valley full of human bones. Interestingly, this is not an area of fresh war, but a desolate valley covered with bones “scattered everywhere.” The bones are brittle in nature, described as “completely dried out.” This is an area of isolation and hopelessness. Depressing to say the least.
Then God asked Ezekiel something seemingly impossible.
Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.” Ezekiel 37:3 NLT