3dd2e-one2byear2bbibleTODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Jeremiah 49:23–50:46
Titus 1:1-16
Psalms 97:1–98:9
Proverbs 26:13-16

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Jeremiah 50:6-7 (ESV) “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the LORD, their habitation of righteousness, the LORD, the hope of their fathers.’”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

In our Verses for Today, we see a problem. A big problem!

God’s people had turned astray. They were pictured as sheep that have left the flock and in their defenseless condition had been devoured by the enemy.

Who did the Lord hold responsible for this? “Their shepherds have led them astray…”

Typically, the Old Testament’s use of the term, “shepherd,” was reserved for God or for governmental leaders (Psalm 78:70-71; Isaiah 44:28; etc.). It is only in the New Testament that we come to understand that God’s men (pastors) were shepherds (1 Peter 5:2).

So, we see in our Verses for Today that poor leadership created an environment where the sheep were scattered and then devoured by the enemy. The governmental leaders were either incompetent or evil and had not created a safe place for their citizens to dwell. Armies were able to come in and devour the people.

But, in the New Testament (the era in which we live), shepherds are pastors. They are the ones who lead the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2) by preaching the Word and lead people to become more like Jesus.

Believe me when I saw that pastoring can be an incredibly difficult and draining job. (Any pastor would readily agree with that last statement.) So, there is incentive for pastors not to take their tasks seriously in order to get some relief from the pressure placed upon them. But, in doing so, their flock would suffer for it.

So, pray for your pastor. Pray that God would give him courage. Pray for wisdom. Pray for endurance. Pray that he would not shirk from doing the job that God has called him to.