Jeremiah 22:1-23:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12; Psalm 83:1-18; Proverbs 25:11-14
God Is Still the Shepherd
In John 10, Jesus declares that He is the Good Shepherd—and the Church has loved to make stained glass windows and picture storybooks of Jesus carrying lambs on His shoulders or in His arms. It is for many of us a comforting picture. However, in Jeremiah 23, the image of a shepherd is one of power and judgment.
God had raised up the kings, priests, and prophets to be the leaders of God’s people and to be their shepherds. But those leaders had failed the people miserably.
Instead of trusting God, Jehoiachin, the king, made alliances with other nations and their gods to protect the nation against Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. In the process, he broke his own people with inordinate taxes while enhancing his own home.
Yet God put His foot down, dismissed Jehoiachin from the throne, and proclaimed, “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.”
Today, leaders around the world have failed and are failing the Church—some pastors live in affluence while their people struggle, other preachers do not know their Scriptures, and yet others are entangled with corrupt politicians.
Yet, God remains the Shepherd of His people who removes unholy leaders and raises up new ones according to His purposes. Pray for your leaders today to remain faithful and obedient, and for our brothers and sisters who wait for new, godly leaders.
The Rev. Loren Fox
Church of Our Savior
Palm Bay, FL