The Good Shepherd and the no good shepherds.
God warns His people about those who shepherd His flock. He says that many do not follow Him nor do they care for His flock. They have their own interests at heart.
He says, the shepherds:
1. Are blind.
2. Lack understanding.
3. Turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain.
4. Are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD.
5. Have led them astray.
6. Do not take care of the flock.
7. Have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick.
8. Have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.
9. Cared for themselves rather than for my flock.
10. Will distort the truth to draw disciples after them.
11. Have rushed for profit.
12. Feed only themselves.
As we examine Scripture regarding the shepherds in Godís household, we are told that things are not always as they seem. What seems right in this world - is not Godís way.
Most Scripture about the Shepherds in Godís household is negative. While shepherds will be held accountable, we also will be held accountable. God says,
It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in man (Psalm 118:8).
The following passages identify characteristics of bad shepherds.
Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain (Isaiah 56:10-11).
The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of Yahweh; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered (Jeremiah 10:21).
Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland. It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares (Jeremiah 12:10).
"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares Yahweh. Therefore this is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares Yahweh. "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number (Jeremiah 23:1-3).
"My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place (Jeremiah 50:6).
The word of Yahweh came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. "'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Yahweh, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves (Ezekiel 34:1-10).
The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. "My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for Yahweh Almighty will care for his flock, the house of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle (Zechariah 10:2-3).
For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! (Acts 20:27-31)
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever (Jude 1:11-13).
Remember, "It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to trust in man" (Psalm 118:8).