WEIGHING UP OUR WORTHINESS
How often do we make decisions in life that leave regrets enough to perhaps break an alliance, a contract, a friendship or a family relationship? In Zechariah, we learn that because of the blood of the covenant, the battle bow will be broken and peace will occur.
‘Restoration and rejoicing in the recovery of Judah will come like a warrior’s sword.’ (Chapter Nine). Then the warning of existing falseness, idol worship, visions that lie in deceit and comfort given in vain. ‘Therefore, the people wander like sheep-oppressed for lack of a shepherd.’ Also, in Chapter Ten/6, the Lord says he will strengthen the house of Judah, save the house of Joseph and restore them because ‘I have compassion for them, for I am the Lord their God. They will be as though I had not rejected them.’ Our powerful God is admitting to rejection? That his people are oppressed and need a shepherd enough to experience and feel his compassion? WOW! Prior to that, in Chapter 11/4 God orders the pasturing of the flock, the ones marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed whose buyers go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ’Praise the Lord. I am rich.’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. I will no longer have pity on the people of the land.’
‘Then I took staffs and called one ‘Favor’ and the other ‘Union’ and I pastured the flock’ I got rid of three shepherds in one month. (In three versions of biblical script, the staffs varied in name, ‘Grace and Union’ and ‘Beauty and Bonds’.) The flock detested me and I grew weary and said I would no longer be their shepherd. Zechariah 11/8-9. He took one staff, ‘Favor’ and broke it, revoking the covenant made with all the nations. On that day the afflicted knew it was the word of the Lord. On being paid thirty pieces of silver for his worth as a carer of flocks, the Lord told his shepherd to throw it into the house of the Lord to the Potter. He did so and broke his second staff ‘Union’, so breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. The conflicts in this passage relate to modern days where our morals, integrity, and our beliefs are so often challenged with broken covenants, weariness in life but asking ourselves how worthy are we in God’s eyes? How often do we need to weigh it all up, to remember that he is the I AM and I WILL of every hour of our lives. The shepherd of our flock never leaves us.