October 13 - The Good Shepherd
God’s children are like sheep, they need a good shepherd to lead them. When God was rebuking the shepherds in Judah, He was referring to the kings (national leaders), the prophets and priests (religious leaders). They had not been doing a good job in leading and guiding the people. The king was not doing justice and righteousness but instead he did violence to the aliens, the fatherless and the widows by shedding innocent blood. He was only interested in dishonest gain by oppressing the people.
As the national political leaders could not pastor the people, the sheep of God’s pasture were destroyed and scattered. They were driven away and not attended to. When the people turned to the prophets and the priests, they could not deliver. The prophets prophesied by Baal and led the people astray. They committed adultery and walked in lies, strengthening the hands of the evildoers. They spoke visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord, prophesying peace when there was none.
But there is hope: God will raise up for David a righteous Branch who shall reign as king and deal wisely, execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely. He will be called “The Lord is our righteousness”. This is none less than the Messiah, coming as a descendant or branch of David. He is the Good Shepherd who will lead His people into safe pastures and rest. When Jesus came later, He also accepted the role of the Good Shepherd, laying down His life for the people of the world.
The world is looking for good political leaders. Many believe that democracy is the way to produce good and accountable leaders who can lead the nation. We have put our hope in them but most of the time our hopes are dashed into disappointments of all kinds. Trusting in human leadership can be deceiving for most leaders cannot keep their promises because of circumstances. Only when the Messiah comes and sets up His Millennial Kingdom, there will not be any good shepherds.
Religious leaders are fallible as well for many of them lack integrity and are like the prophets and priests of the Old Testament times. We put our trusts in them but they can betray our trust any time. Yes, we need to pray for our civic, national and religious leaders but even more urgently, we need to pray for the coming of the Messiah to establish His Kingdom on earth. Are you praying for your civic and religious leaders regularly? Are you praying for Christ’s return? Confess your sins of putting your trust in earthly leaders now.
Ps 115:9-13 Jer 22:1-23:20 2 Thess 1:1-12 Prov 25:11-14