“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
I can’t find my cell phone holder. It clips on my belt and conveniently holds my cell phone. But I can’t find it. My 3-year-old daughter decided to play with it, and well, that’s explanation enough for its disappearance. I’ve looked for it. I’ve looked everywhere I can think it could be. But nothing.
There’s a very good reason I’ve looked so diligently for that cell phone holder. It’s very useful. It’s valuable to me.
That’s what makes God’s words in Ezekiel 34 so amazing. He says, “I myself will search for my sheep.” God is talking about us, his sheep. You hear a sense of urgency in God’s voice as he describes his search and rescue mission. He compares himself to a loving shepherd who frantically searches for his lost sheep until they’re found. But why would God search so diligently for us? Unlike my cell phone holder, we do not appear to be very useful or valuable to God. Quite the contrary. We have disobeyed him, disgraced him, deserted him. And not just once but over and over again. Why doesn’t he just let us go our own way? Why doesn’t he just give up on us?
Because he loves us. So much, that he sent his Son to suffer hell for us. That was the real rescue mission. Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
And now God won’t give up on us. Even though we turn our backs on him and go our own way, he keeps searching for us. And when he finds us, he holds us close, calms our fears, and comforts us with the promise of eternal green pastures in heaven.
Father, in your great love, you searched for me and found me. You saved me from the eternal death my sins deserve. Keep me close to you. Feed me with your Word. And finally, deliver me safely to my eternal rest. Amen.