“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1
God was preparing to destroy Judah because of the sins of the people. He gave many warnings that it would happen. Even though this was God’s plan, there were many of the leaders of the temple that were trying to say something different. They had their own priests and prophets saying that God would bring about peace. They were also leading the people into the sin of following false gods. The people were being destroyed and scattered because of the way they were being led.
God gives them a warning that He would punish them for doing this. As He would destroy them, He would also bring out a remnant of the people, who they were leading wrong, to restore and build up again.
Shepherds are the ones who are supposed to lead the sheep to the best food and water. They are to protect them from the enemy. If the slack off on any of their duties, the sheep will scatter and be destroyed.
Ministers, preachers, and evangelists are always considered the shepherds or leaders of the people in the church. Although this is true, that does not mean that other people are not shepherds also. Many people, who are not preachers, also are leaders of other people. They are the ones who lead and guide some people in the walk in this life. Many are parents, while others are teachers, or mentors, or bosses of others.
People today are teaching or leading others down paths of sin that are against God. False teachings are being taught in the churches, as though it is God’s word. Prophecies are being made that God will overlook sinful acts, because of His great love. Prayers for God’s peace are being made, without a call to repentance from sin. Adultery, drunkenness, lying, cheating, gossiping, stealing, jealousy, hatred, oppression, racism, and many other sins are accepted in the church as acceptable. These are just a few ways of destroying and scattering God’s sheep. God will hold them accountable.
As a believer, you must correctly speak God’s word. Speak the truth in love at all times. Do not allow yourself to be guilty of destroying His sheep, because you spoke of God’s word in a false way. Seek God’s direction in His word as you live it and lead others with it.
I pray today that you will know God’s word in truth; that you will speak God’s word in truth; that you will not be guilty of leading others wrong; and that God will strengthen you to live in righteousness for Him.