Jeremiah 23:1 “‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the LORD.”
The sheep are the people of God’s kingdom, and the shepherds are the leaders, kings, priests, prophets. We get that in regards to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, but can we transfer the idea to our own time? Leaders who have their own agenda might come under this woe, and so might leaders who divide congregations to start their own for their own glory. What about the leaders who shepherd to gain money. We’ve all heard of modern-day leaders who live in fabulous houses and drive expensive cars and wear fine jewelry.
God makes it plain that the shepherds who failed to take attend to His people will be attended to by God. That should make all shepherds stop in their tracks and examine their leadership. Anyone taking on the responsibility of shepherding God’s people better make sure their heart is pure. And once they undertake that responsibility, they better make sure their heart stays pure. Being a shepherd is fraught with opportunities to take advantage of the sheep because they are often helpless. If you lead in the church of God, you better make sure you are among the meek and lowly in heart and have only the interest of the sheep in your heart.
I served as a minister for many years and as a shepherd for twelve years. Those twelve years were the scariest of my life. I knew what God expected, and I knew the flesh is weak. The shepherd of God’s people carries responsibility for the sheep and also for himself.
Task for Today: Do not shun leadership in the church of our Lord. If God calls you to lead, then lead you must. But do not accept leadership if you can’t control your own walk. Learn to pray continually and lean as never before on the word of the Lord.