THE BEST OF SHEPHERDS
Blessed God and loving Father, you are my strength and shield. I trust you and rejoice in you today.
Read Zechariah 10
The Lord Will Care for Judah
10 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone.
2 The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 “My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
for his flock, the people of Judah,
and make them like a proud horse in battle.
4 From Judah will come the cornerstone,
from him the tent peg,
from him the battle bow,
from him every ruler.
5 Together they[a] will be like warriors in battle
trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.
6 “I will strengthen Judah
and save the tribes of Joseph.
I will restore them
because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God
and I will answer them.
7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors,
and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful;
their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.
8 I will signal for them
and gather them in.
Surely I will redeem them;
they will be as numerous as before.
9 Though I scatter them among the peoples,
yet in distant lands they will remember me.
They and their children will survive,
and they will return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt
and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
and there will not be room enough for them.
11 They will pass through the sea of trouble;
the surging sea will be subdued
and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria’s pride will be brought down
and Egypt’s scepter will pass away.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord
and in his name they will live securely,”
declares the Lord.
- Zechariah 10:5 Or ruler, all of them together. / 5 They
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow have you experienced the ‘shepherding’ of Jesus in your life?
The shepherd’s work is to feed, lead, care for, and protect their flock. Think of Jesus’ ‘shepherding’ – his teaching, influence, healings, and guarding of the weak and vulnerable. In this chapter, we see the Messiah presented not only as the coming king, but also as the coming shepherd of Israel (v 3).
When we think of Jesus the Good Shepherd, as depicted in the Gospels, we may typically think of him as caring for needy people who were brought to him. But we also see him energetically opposing the false shepherds who were failing to care for their sheep (e.g., John 10). Here, in this chapter, we see how God’s anger burned against the deceitful, oppressive and uncaring leaders of Israel (vs 2,3).
Then we’re shown the contrast. When the Messiah comes, his rule will be characterized by abundance (v 1), victory for God’s people (vs 4,5), compassion (v 6), joy (v 7), redemption (v 8) and security (v 12). Zechariah anticipates the Messiah’s work of regathering his scattered sheep from all over the world (vs 6–12). And Messiah Christ will be the ‘cornerstone’ for all his people (v 4; Ephesians 2:19–22). This really is the care of the best of shepherds.
This theme of God’s good shepherding (compared to poor human shepherding) runs through God’s Word. Thank him for how that ‘great Shepherd of the sheep’ (Hebrews 13:20,21) is shepherding and equipping you, even today.
Mighty God, destroy the evil that is within me, and incline anew my heart toward you so that I may please you in all things.
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