Zechariah 11:16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs.
This whole passage is pretty depressing. However, I am reminded of something said by one of America’s Founding Fathers: “The people will get the government they deserve.” That said, this description seems remarkably applicable to various leaders in the world around us. They seem to be entirely focused on what they see as their own profit, and not at all on those they supposedly lead. That this passage exists in the Bible is an indication that God’s plans are indeed so much higher than ours that from our viewpoint they can seem entirely inscrutable. (Isaiah 55:9) This is where faith really comes in. When we are faced with leaders such as are described here, we need to seek the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20) all the more earnestly. When we rely on human leaders, even well-intentioned ones, we get into trouble. However, God will always work good out of circumstances that are turned over to Him. (Romans 8:28) Yesterday I read the next draft of my father’s biography, and was struck by how much blessing my father said he got out of the experience of being interned by the Japanese military police for the first six months of WWII. I am reminded of the the way a Persian rug is made, with countless knots on the backside. We may only see the knots, but God sees the tapestry from the other side, and it is a thing of beauty indeed. Even when we encounter faithless leaders, such as this passage describes, we need to trust that God is still God, and the ultimate resolution will be very good indeed.
I have had some things in my life that at the time seemed terrible, but for which I am now grateful. I face things all the time that seem less than desirable, so I am challenged to trust God. Sometimes I do better at that than at other times! I am saddened to see people decide they know how things are supposed to be, and get bitter and sometimes downright nasty when things don’t go their way. I will confess to having that same tendency in myself. I am mystified at how seemingly rational people could take the positions they do, yet they probably feel the same way about me! The only answer is the solution that Jesus told us to pray for: that God’s name would be acknowledged as holy and His rule and authority be manifested as His will is done, right here on earth. He once told me personally that many, many things are not as He wants them to be, but I know that the current situation isn’t the end of the story. Like my father in the internment camp, I need to receive the blessings God has for me right now and be available for His use, not being anxious about tomorrow or next week or next year.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for what You allowed us to experience yesterday. Thank You for what You have on our slate for today. Help us indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, whether the events of the moment are as we would have planned or not, so that Your plans may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!