Jeremiah 23:1-4 God’s Answer?

Jeremiah 23:1-4 (KJV)
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

This passage is challenging for at least two reasons:
The use of the title “pastors” is different than we understand it today
We use the title “pastor” for the leader of our church. We see the pastor as the spiritual shepherd of a local congregation. While some have styled themselves as:

  • radio pastors
  • television pastors and
  • internet pastors,

we think of the pastor as the shepherd of a local church.

That is not what that title meant to God in Jeremiah’s day. There were prophets and priests who had the spiritual charge over God’s flock of the day, Israel. Bible students such as Barnes and Gill agree that this (pastors) refers to a civil leader.

The use of the term “visit” is different than we understand it today.
We think of a pastoral visit as something of a comfort. It’s the preacher coming to our home for a meal or to attend our kid’s birthday party. There’s nothing wrong with him doing those things, but that’s not what is intended in Jeremiah. Consider for example those passages that speak of the day of God’s visitation. By it, the Bible means His judgment. It’s a reference to the time when God corrects wrong.

It is this sort of visitation that Jeremiah’s pastors were guilty of neglecting. The people were straying from the commands of the law and it was their responsibility to rein them in. It was a responsibility they had all but abandoned.

It would be more accurate to apply this passage to our:

  • mayors
  • judges and
  • councilmen

They are the ones who have abandoned the Word of God, scattered their faith to the wind and set our moral integrity adrift.

God’s answer?

I believe it is the New Testament Church. There, a soul may find a shepherd who will feed them God’s Word and provide them moral (as well as spiritual) direction.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3700 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Jeremiah 23:1-4 God’s Answer?

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Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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