Yahweh Ra'ah: "The Lord Is My Shepherd"
Scripture Reading — Ezekiel 34:25-31
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
—Psalm 23:1 —
The Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy against the “shepherds of Israel” (Ezekiel 34:2). The religious leaders of Israel had been seeking their own advantage rather than taking care of the peo-ple of Israel, their flock. God lashed out against this corruption.
Sheep and shepherds are common metaphors in the Old Testament. God is often mentioned as the shepherd of his people Israel. Only once, though, do we find the name Yahweh Ra’ah, meaning “The LORD is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1).
The Hebrew word ra’ah, meaning “shepherd,” describes one who tends, leads, feeds, and protects his flock of sheep. As a shepherd cares for his flock, so Yahweh Ra’ah cares for his people, providing for all their needs and guiding and protect-ing them. Yahweh Ra’ah cares for his covenant people as a flock and as individual, precious sheep.
The closing verses of Ezekiel 34 make clear the magnificent ways in which Yahweh Ra’ah promises to care for his sheep. He doesn’t disappoint. And in the New Testament, Jesus pro-claims himself to be Yahweh Ra’ah, saying, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14).
The Lord is your good shepherd. Lean on him, for he protects and provides and cares for you.
Good Shepherd, you provide for our needs, guide, and protect us. Help us to take comfort in your care today and always. Amen.