“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Feb. 14, 2022 – Zechariah 011

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Zechariah+011

 

Zechariah 11 (ESV)

Thus said the Lord my God: “Become shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slaughter them and go unpunished, and those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, I have become rich,’ and their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land, declares the Lord. Behold, I will cause each of them to fall into the hand of his neighbor, and each into the hand of his king, and they shall crush the land, and I will deliver none from their hand.”

So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named Union. And I tended the sheep. In one month I destroyed the three shepherds. But I became impatient with them, and they also detested me. So I said, “I will not be your shepherd. What is to die, let it die. What is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed. And let those who are left devour the flesh of one another.”  10 And I took my staff Favor, and I broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples… 14 Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

 

REFLECTION:

  • This chapter contrasts sharply with Chapter 10. The prophet moves from a message of comfort (Chapter 10) to God’s rebuke. Brings out the judgment of God through the portraits of the flock (representing the people) and the shepherds (representing the kings and leaders of the nations). The chosen people are punished by God for rejecting the true shepherd and following the useless false shepherds (4-17). This penalty can be summed up in the rebuke “annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples” in verse 10, where God determined to “no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land” (6). What a terrible punishment to be cut off from God and rejected by God.
  • Zechariah took two staffs (7), one called “Favor”, referring to kindness and perfection, which is the attribute of God; the other is called “Union”, which is the bond of love. It is like a cord of kindness and love, which binds the Israelites together, especially since the two kingdoms of the north and the south were divided before, and they must be connected again, not separated. Therefore, the meaning here is unity and oneness. He broke the first staff “Favor”, showing that God’s covenant of grace with His people was broken. He broke the second staff “Union”, showing that the friendship between Judah and Israel has been broken down (14).
  • The Lord Jesus is our Great Shepherd. He watches over the damned, seeks the lost, heals the wounded, and shepherds us. What a blessing it is that we can follow this good shepherd all our lives.

 

PRAYER:

Pray that the Lord will raise up more faithful good shepherds and leaders in the Chinese church to shepherd Your scattered flocks. May the Lord have mercy, and protect the parts of the world that still do not have shepherds to shepherd their flocks.

 

HYMN:

Good Shepherd of My Soul – youtu.be/yYzE_l2AcE8

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