‘Mine anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the he-goats; for Jehovah of hosts hath visited his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as his goodly horse in the battle,’ Zechariah 10v3.

SHEPHERDS, leaders of God’s flock disappointed Him in their duties. They were not committed in their jobs. As a result of this disappointment, God’s anger was kindled against them. Yes, it is very painful for a messenger to forget his message.

Commitment means state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or a policy. It is a pledge or an undertaking. It could also be an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.

However, the shepherds woefully failed this test.

There is no doubt that God’s heart was wounded against the non-commitment by the shepherds of Israel and by extension shepherds of today. Ezekiel the prophet spoke the mind of God when he noted thus: ‘…Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, thus says the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe yourself with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought back that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigour have ye ruled over them… and there was none that did search or seek `after them’, Ezek. 34v1-6.

The prophecy of Zechariah was given more than 500 years before the birth of Christ. This prophecy recognised that if shepherds were to be at their duty posts then the flock of Christ would not have been scattered. They would have been taken care of, with the broken hearts comforted and the wounded, bandaged. But this was not the case in the nation of Israel and even in our own nation today. Ours seem to be the worst because we have hungry shepherds, self-styled shepherds, who were only after their stomach and whatever happens to the flock is not their concern. Therefore, God says my anger is kindle against them and He had set out to look for real shepherds, who will attend to His flock truly and genuinely too.

The Bible says of Jesus: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep,’ John 10:11. Shepherds that are committed to their jobs, labour out of love, have a heart for the sheep, give their life for the sheep, faithfully serve the master, tenderly care for the sheep and lead the sheep wisely. They would wish that the flocks are not allowed to drink from ecclesiastical debris.

Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Delta State.

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