Zechariah 11:4 Thus said the LORD my God: Be a shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. 5 Those who buy them kill them and go unpunished; and those who sell them say, “Blessed be the LORD, for I have become rich”; and their own shepherds have no pity on them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the earth, says the LORD. I will cause them, every one, to fall each into the hand of a neighbor, and each into the hand of the king; and they shall devastate the earth, and I will deliver no one from their hand.
Here the Lord is giving instructions to the prophet Zechariah. The scriptures often use the term “shepherd” to describe those in charge of leading the people, especially kings, priests, and the like. They have been given a public trust by God to care for the people, especially the most vulnerable – the widow, the orphan, the alien. In this case the shepherds have not been doing their job. They are being called out for buying those in their care, selling them, killing them – with apparent impunity. The word from God says they will be held to account.
Most of us reading this blog post are leaders of some kind, at some level. We are leaders at home or at work or at school or in the larger community. And as such we are held to account by God for leading and caring for others. This is a great responsibility for sure. This morning I’m wondering how I’m doing with those entrusted to me. While I’m aware I can always improve, my sense is that I’m doing reasonably well in this area of life. Yet I wonder what those in my care would say about it. More importantly, I wonder what God thinks about the job I’m doing as a leader.
Heavenly Father, leadership is a great responsibility that many of us share at some level. May those in our charge thrive as we lead them well. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.