December 29 | Daily Devotion

December 29 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!” ~Zechariah 11:17

God is angry with the prophet, the priest, and the king for their failure to properly shepherd the people of God. They do their work for sordid gain and care only for themselves, which explains why they never tell the people anything they don’t want to hear. They view their position as a means to an end rather than as a means to bless the people of God! God will judge them, and He will replace them.

Ironically, when God replaces the false shepherds with true ones, the people snub them. Zechariah shepherds the people with integrity, he cares for them, and he shows them favor while working to bring unity. In this way, Zechariah is a forerunner of the Christ who will come. However, while the people willingly lined the pockets of false prophets, they reject both Zechariah and Christ. They even refuse to pay them for their work. Here’s some pocket change Zechariah; thanks for the sermon.(See Zechariah 11:12. Thirty pieces of silver was the price for an injured slave!) Later, Judas will show how much he values Jesus by betraying Him for chump change.

This is a lesson in following the right people. The recently returned exiles refused to listen to Zechariah, the wise shepherd provided for them, and their children will crucify the true Shepherd (Zech. 12:10). Meanwhile, both the false shepherds and the sheep that prop them up will be judged. Who are you following? Do you realize there are true and false shepherds? Do you know how to tell the difference? True shepherds love their flocks, they constantly point people to the true Shepherd, and they proclaim the whole counsel of God, even when it is difficult to do so. Don’t despise them or treat them with contempt for their work. We all follow someone. Follow the shepherds who lovingly teach you how to follow the true Shepherd.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.