Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, would often come down from his big office to the design lab, just to be involved with the creative process. Walt Disney, for the better part of 30 years, provided the voice of Mickey Mouse. While many bosses remain distant from their employees, there’s something special about a boss who cares enough to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work. God, the ultimate boss, is exactly like that.
In Ezekiel 34, God is speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, rebuking the shepherds, or leaders, of Israel, stating, “…since there was no shepherd, and because My shepherds have not searched for My sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed My sheep…” (v. 8) God is displeased that the shepherds of Israel have led His people astray. In response to this, God announces that He will seek His people; He will come down and do the job Himself. “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out My sheep…” (v.11-12). This is the ultimate case of a boss coming down and doing the job no one else could do!
God goes on to explain exactly the job He will do. “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy.” (v. 16) “And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.” (v. 27) Shepherding is hard work and to make matters worse, God’s flock is scattered, injured, and enslaved. Does God look to the priests, prophets, or rulers? No, instead God, being the hands-on boss He is, saves this difficult job for Himself. “And you are My sheep, human sheep of My pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” (v. 31) In our most lost state, God claimed responsbility for us.
If all this shepherd talk sounds familiar, it should. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is the Shepherd referred to in Ezekiel 34. He did the job no prophet or priest could or would do by taking on all the sin of God’s people and shepherding us back to our Father. If you feel like a lost or scattered sinner, remember you serve a God who seeks you enough to come down from His throne, lay His glory aside, and die for you. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Like 19:10) Now that’s a boss you can work overtime for!