The City

Two different shepherds

By Dale Stonecipher in Redeemer Church about 1 year ago | 1297 views Link:

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The prophet, Zechariah, gives us a picture of very different shepherds.  As we know, shepherds are often pictured in scripture to teach us of great care for their sheep.  Jesus even called Himself the Good Shepherd.

But not all the shepherds of Israel were good shepherds.  Some didn’t care well for their flocks.  That was a real problem in Zechariah’s day because the flock of Israel was disobedient and deserving of judgment.  In chapter 11, Zechariah is even told to become the shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter.  God said He would not have pity on the inhabitants of the land and would give them over to punishment.

Zechariah was told to take the equipment of a foolish shepherd as an example and God pronounces a woe.  He says, “Woe to my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock!  May the sword strike his am and his right eye!  Let his arm be wholly withered, his right eye utterly blinded.”  The picture is bleak for the worthless shepherd.

But Zechariah then gives us a very different picture of another shepherd.  In chapter 13, he opens with the announcement of a fountain to be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.  God will cut off the idols and remove the false prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. 

God then speaks of a very different shepherd and a different sword.  He says, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me.  Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”  Two thirds would be cut off, but one third would be brought through the refiner’s fire and He would say of them, “They are My people; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

The first shepherd is struck by the sword in punishment for his worthlessness.  The second shepherd is struck for the salvation of those who are His people.  He is pierced by God to open the fountain of cleansing that Zechariah spoke about.  It reminds us of the hymn which says, “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”  Because the Good Shepherd was pierced, those who trust Him are cleansed from their sins and become His people.  Rejoice with thankfulness for the fountain opened to provide cleansing from sin.


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Donnie Dalton Jr.

Amen Rejoice Lost sheep saved by his Love and Blood for us

Mary Leadbetter

Thank you Dale. So encouraging and true.

Larry Dean

Amen!  Thanks Dale.

Redeemer Church

We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.

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Fort Worth, TX 76133

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