26-04-2022 SHEPHERD’S WARNING

SHEPHERD’S WARNING

Opening Prayer

Blessed God and loving Father, you are my strength and shield. I trust you and rejoice in you today.

Scripture Reference

ZECHARIAH 10:1 – 11:3

Read

The Lord Will Care for Judah

10 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
    it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
    and plants of the field to everyone.
The idols speak deceitfully,
    diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
    they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
    oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

“My anger burns against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
    for his flock, the people of Judah,
    and make them like a proud horse in battle.
From Judah will come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,
from him the battle bow,
    from him every ruler.
Together they[a] will be like warriors in battle
    trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
    and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.

“I will strengthen Judah
    and save the tribes of Joseph.
I will restore them
    because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
    I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God
    and I will answer them.
The Ephraimites will become like warriors,
    and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful;
    their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.
I will signal for them
    and gather them in.
Surely I will redeem them;
    they will be as numerous as before.
Though I scatter them among the peoples,
    yet in distant lands they will remember me.
They and their children will survive,
    and they will return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt
    and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
    and there will not be room enough for them.
11 They will pass through the sea of trouble;
    the surging sea will be subdued
    and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria’s pride will be brought down
    and Egypt’s scepter will pass away.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord
    and in his name they will live securely,”
declares the Lord.

11 Open your doors, Lebanon,
    so that fire may devour your cedars!
Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen;
    the stately trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan;
    the dense forest has been cut down!
Listen to the wail of the shepherds;
    their rich pastures are destroyed!
Listen to the roar of the lions;
    the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 10:5 Or ruler, all of them together. / They

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

Consider

God changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.1

Think Further

There are harsh words of judgment upon the people’s leaders in Zechariah 10. Israel’s kings and those in positions of authority were to be shepherds of the Lord’s flock.2 Tragically, the leaders both in Judah (the southern kingdom) and Israel (the northern kingdom) had abused their power and led their people into paths of idolatry. The pre-exilic prophets had denounced them. Now, a post-exilic prophet, Zechariah, condemns the abusive shepherds of his own day, both Jewish and the foreign ones occupying the land. God calls them ‘he-goats’ (v 3, AV; NIV ‘leaders’), which indicates how much they bullied and misruled the people.

The divisions that tore Israel apart, splitting it into two kingdoms, had resulted from King Rehoboam’s abuse of power.3 God promises to restore them and repair the schism (v 6). He will whistle for them (v 8; NIV ‘signal’) like a shepherd for his flock. Their ‘cornerstone’, ‘tent peg’, and ‘battle-bow’ will come from Judah (v 4) – a clear indication of a future messianic fulfillment of these things.

Christians today believe the Lord is their Shepherd.4 Messiah Jesus called himself ‘the good shepherd’.5 Nevertheless, as for ancient Israel, God has appointed us leaders (under-shepherds) to govern the countries where we live. Paul urges us to pray ‘for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.6 Remembering that ‘the best of men (or women!) are but men at best, let us neither idolize nor demonize our leaders, but earnestly intercede on their behalf! The peace and quiet we long for can only come through God, the Head Shepherd, answering our prayers.

Apply

Since ‘righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people’,7 let us pray today that our country’s politicians and people would seek wisdom and direction from God.

Closing Prayer

Mighty God, destroy the evil that is within me, and incline anew my heart toward you so that I may please You in all things.

1 Dan 2:21 2 Cf 1 Chr 11:2; 17:6; Ps 78:70,71 3 1 Kings 12 4 Ps 23 5 John 10 6 1 Tim 2:2 7 Prov 14:34

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Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by kingstar

2 thoughts on “26-04-2022 SHEPHERD’S WARNING”

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