And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month,on the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been captured!” Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the man came who had escaped. And He had opened my mouth; so when he came to me in the morning, my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute. Eze 33:21-22
From the beginning of Ezekiel’s calling as a prophet, he has been prophesying about the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering the people who were left in Judah, as judgment for them forsaking their covenant with the LORD their God, and refusing to repent of it. Now the long- prophesied event has come to pass. But with the LORD, who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, this event of judgment is not the last word.
As the shepherds have forgotten Him, the flock of His people have not been taken care of, and they have been scattered on the mountains and become a prey. Now the sword is throughout the land, and the flock is taken captive. But:
‘For thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.” Eze 34:11-13
YHVH Himself will become His people’s Shepherd. They are scattered among the Gentiles, but He will gather them and bring them back to the mountains of Israel.
“I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord GOD. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” Eze 34:15-16
This is the ministry of Messiah, as prophesied by Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isa 61:1-3
By thematic connection the Scripture reveals that it is the LORD God Himself who will come as Messiah; that Messiah will be the LORD God incarnate, as John confirms (Joh 1:1, 14).
“I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.” Eze 34:23-24
Today the house of Judah — the Jews — deny that Yeshua is Messiah, but Paul told us they would be blinded to the fact until the fullness of the Gentiles have been grafted in to the olive tree of Israel, through the root of Messiah Yeshua (Rom 11:25-26). The house of Judah is being regathered to their land and at the same time Messianic Judaism is increasing. We are seeing this prophecy fulfilled in our day.
“Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord GOD.’” “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord GOD. Eze 34:30-31
Just as the LORD’s people will have one Shepherd, Messiah Yeshua, the LORD will have one people, the house of Israel. What about all the Christians for whom Messiah Yeshua is their Shepherd? We saw that Jacob was divided into two houses: the house of Israel, the northern kingdom or ten tribes, and the house of Judah, the southern kingdom or two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The house of Israel was taken captive by Assyria, and now the house of Judah has been taken captive by Babylonia. From their captivity, both Israel and Judah were scattered among the Gentiles, sown among them like seed, Amos prophesied (Amo 9:9). The house of Israel would so intermingle with the Gentiles that they would even forget that they were ever His people!
A remnant of the house of Judah was returned to Israel from Babylonian captivity, and it was among this remnant that Yeshua was born in the due course of time. But the house of Israel has never yet been returned from their Assyrian captivity — and yet, for the past two thousand years, Gentiles have been accepting Messiah Yeshua as Shepherd and Lord, from every nation, family, tribe, and tongue. These are the lost sheep of the house of Israel, scattered among them over 700 years before the birth of Messiah Yeshua.
Today Judah — the Jews — are being regathered to the land. Israel has been gathered to his Messiah for the past 2000 years. One day soon, which we are entering, Judah will also be gathered to His Messiah, and Israel will also be regathered to the land, and there will be one people of the LORD God and one Shepherd in Israel.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken, and it will surely come to pass. We may even see it in our lifetime, the complete fulfillment of all things! Amen!