Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Showers of Blessing

Ezekiel 24:10 - Ezekiel 29:14

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The good news is that we are about to enter in to some of my very favorite lessons in the Bible.  The bad news is that many of them happen in the reading that is coming up this weekend.

I can't bear the thought of skipping over one of these lessons, so for the next three days we are going to have to deviate from our normal reading plan.  By Monday we will be back on schedule again.  Here is what I am thinking...I will put the reading for the day at the very top of each post...that way we will all stay on target.  Then, within the post I will list the chapter where you can locate the lesson that is referenced in the blog for that day.  Some of the posts will just have to count as a preview for what you are about to read.

That is the case today.

The lesson comes from Ezekiel 34.  (You will be reading about it tomorrow.)

Ezekiel is reproving the shepherds who do not feed the flocks.

"Thus saith the Lord God...should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost...and they were scattered, because there is no shepherd."  (Ezekiel 34:2 & 4)

My heart hurts for the sick one that was not healed, the broken one that was not bound up, the one that was not strengthened, the lost one, and the one that was driven away.

Why was there no one to care for them?

My sister raises sheep.

A couple weeks ago one of the Ewe's delivered three baby lambs.  Finding it too hard to care for all three babies, the mother began to neglect the smallest lamb.

My sister was aware that this might happen.

She had been watching over her flock.

So, even though it would require sacrifice, she decided to mother this little lamb.  She made a makeshift bed for it in her kitchen and she lets it follow her all through her house.  The little lambs favorite place to be is right under my sister's feet.  She feels safe there.  Watched over. Cared for.

My sister named her Joy.

It makes me happy that the one who was broken and driven away and uncared for was given such a happy name.

The experience of watching my sister care for her little lamb made my heart tender towards the way this chapter in Ezekiel ends.  After expressing His unhappiness towards the shepherds of Israel, the Lord extended a beautiful promise,

"For thus saith the Lord God; behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep...so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day...

and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers...I will feed them in a good pasture...there shall they lie in a good fold...

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick...

And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing: and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing."

Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them..."  (Ezekiel 34:11-16, 26, 30)

I love knowing that there is One who is watching over us on our cloudy and dark days.   He will seek us when we are lost,  bring us back when we are driven away,  bind us up when we are broken, and give us strength beyond our own.

Why does He do this?

In Hebrews 12 we find the answer... "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross."  (Hebrews 12:2)

Were we the joy that was set before Him?

His Joy?

Maybe we could remember that in the moments when we feel uncared for, driven away, lost, broken.

We are His Joy...

Upon whom He will send showers of blessing.

Emily Freeman