ZECHARIAH‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬-‭17‬ ‭‬‬

“Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedar forests. Weep, you cypress trees, for all the ruined cedars; the most majestic ones have fallen. Weep, you oaks of Bashan, for the thick forests have been cut down. Listen to the wailing of the shepherds, for their rich pastures are destroyed. Hear the young lions roaring, for their thickets in the Jordan Valley are ruined. This is what the Lord my God says: “Go and care for the flock that is intended for slaughter. The buyers slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers say, ‘Praise the Lord! Now I’m rich!’ Even the shepherds have no compassion for them. Likewise, I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” says the Lord. “I will let them fall into each other’s hands and into the hands of their king. They will turn the land into a wilderness, and I will not rescue them.” So I cared for the flock intended for slaughter—the flock that was oppressed. Then I took two shepherd’s staffs and named one Favor and the other Union. I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month. But I became impatient with these sheep, and they hated me, too. So I told them, “I won’t be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And let those who remain devour each other!” Then I took my staff called Favor and cut it in two, showing that I had revoked the covenant I had made with all the nations. That was the end of my covenant with them. The suffering flock was watching me, and they knew that the Lord was speaking through my actions. And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord. Then I took my other staff, Union, and cut it in two, showing that the bond of unity between Judah and Israel was broken. Then the Lord said to me, “Go again and play the part of a worthless shepherd. This illustrates how I will give this nation a shepherd who will not care for those who are dying, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves. “What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye. His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind.””
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Zechariah‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬-‭17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Israel would reject the true shepherd in favor of a false one. This message comes on the heels of a message referring to the power that comes from walking in God’s will and agency. It was a command to do so, but we know from history that Israel would never follow through with this. Instead they would continue to pursue, with their new temple, their own understanding of the law. This would eventually lead them to the murder of the messiah and the destruction of the temple. Because they did not understand the purpose of the temple in their lives, they will destroy the messiah. Beyond this, they will invite a very real threat in the foolish shepherd. He is later described in scripture by various names but generally to us as the Anti-Christ. God wanted his people to know what comes of feeling dejected and worshipping him only on their terms. We should note this for ourselves as well. The layers of these prophecies can provide us with things we can challenge about ourselves today.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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