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By Evangelism, Discipleship, and Shepherding

Poor Shepherding

“We have a jewel – a precious jewel, indeed. It is the doctrine of true conversion, regeneration, and atonement through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Greater love God could not have shown us, than to give us the knowledge of His Son. Greater gifts, He could not give them to give us salvation in His name. Greater responsibility, he could not have placed upon us, than to charge us with the preaching of the gospel, with the ministry of reconciliation.’

‘This doctrine and gift of God was brought to us by men of God, faithful servants, and witnesses. Have we been faithful and diligent to spread abroad the message which has been brought to us? Or have we suppressed, buried, covered it? Have we been like a city built upon a hill that cannot be hid? I am convinced that only in very small measure have we done what we could have and should have done in these matters. My complaint is not particularly against the recent years, but 40, 50, or 60 years there has not been that missionary zeal, that first love among us, as there was in the earlier days of our church, when it drew, out and prosper under the ministration of Bro. Froehlich and his co-laborers.’

‘And with what result! Not only was the growth of the Church stunted, but its spiritual beauty and fruitfulness was impaired. Earthly mindedness, with love of gain, and creature, comforts and enjoyment were often only thinly covered with veil of piety. Into what depths of folly cannot men, even saved men, descend, when the glorious light of the Truth (which maketh free) does not shine brightly about them! So stupid a question as the manner of wearing the beard could lead to strife and even separation.’

‘This could not have happened, the grace of God would have prevented it, had His people been zealous and diligent in doing His will, had they been watchful, and stood in the light as they should have.”‘This could not have happened, the grace of God would have prevented it, had His people been zealous and diligent in doing His will, had they been watchful, and stood in the light as they should have.'”1

Results

Isaiah 56:11
They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.”

Jeremiah 10:21
“The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.”

Jeremiah 50:6
“My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.”

Zechariah 10:2-3
“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. 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.”

Zechariah 11:9
“And said, ‘I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.’”

Zechariah 11:15-17
“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves. Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!’”

Amos 1:2
“He said: ‘The LORD roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.’”

God’s Justice on Unworthy Shepherds

Jeremiah 25:34
“Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall like the best of the rams. The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape. Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for the LORD is destroying their pasture.”

Ezekiel 34:2
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?’”

Ezekiel 34:8
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.”

Zechariah 11:3
“Listen to the wail of the shepherds; their rich pastures are destroyed! Listen to the roar of the lions; the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!”

Zechariah 11:8
“In one month I got rid of the three shepherds. The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them.”

Reasons for Poor Shepherding

Apathy

Jeremiah 12:10-11
“Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland. It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares.”

Uncommitted

Jeremiah 22:22
“The wind will drive all your shepherds away, and your allies will go into exile. Then you will be ashamed and disgraced because of all your wickedness.”

Jeremiah 23:1
“‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the LORD.”

Lack of Care

Jeremiah 23:2
“Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: ‘Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,’ declares the LORD.”

Nahum 3:18
“King of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them.”

Selfishness

Jude 1:12
“These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.”

1 Sommer, B. L. (1929). Let His Bishopric Let Another Take, page 65-66. In The Fascination of the Race: And Other Essays, Apostolic Christian Publishing Company.

Author: Wilf Scheuermann ©2024; Photo by Legio Seven: https://www.pexels.com/photo/shepherd-dog-with-flock-of-sheep-5384726/

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