This passage tells us of God’s plan to restore a united Israel to the promised land. The Lord committed not only to bring them back home but also to set over them one king who would act as a servant-leader—“My servant David” (v. 24). God’s plan to appoint a servant king over Israel was ironic in light of the historical events surrounding the original schism between Israel and Judah. The split of the kingdoms was essentially the result of King Rehoboam’s unwillingness to serve the people of God as his elder counselors advised.
Ezekiel’s prophecy, of course, pointed to the messianic King—Jesus Christ. Jesus embodied for us what servant leadership looks like. Examining Jesus’ life, we see that servant leaders seek the glory of God (Mark 10:42; John 7:18) while not being preoccupied with their own (Mark 10:43-45). They forgo their own rights for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:15-19) and understand the joy in serving others (Mark 9:35). Jesus’ life was marked by service and our lives should be as well.
How are you embodying servant-leadership in your life for the sake of the gospel?