“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.” vs. 1
Judah was in a tough spot and Jeremiah was convinced that it was the fault of the kings. Speaking for the Lord, in a biting and forceful sermon, he blames Judah’s shepherds, i.e. kings, for destroying and scattering the people, and he looks forward to a day when a new righteous king will establish justice in the land. As time passed, each time there was a regime change the people hoped for the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy–and they were always disappointed. When Jesus came on the scene there were many who hoped that he would be the one to restore the kingdom–until his last day on earth his disciples were looking for such a restoration. People still have those expectations for would-be rulers–even in a democracy we keep hoping that the president will be a proper shepherd and provide solid leadership for the flock. It’s always disappointing when those who promise to care for the sheep end up fleecing them instead. What we learn from scripture is that ultimately kings of this world are liable to let us down. Occasionally we’ll find one who operates with humility and compassion, but more often they are ego-driven and power hungry. The disciples came to believe that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the only reliable guide for life’s journey. It was true then and it’s doubly true now.
Thought for the Day: Which of our presidents have been good shepherds?