Jeremiah 17:16 (KJV)
As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.
I am thankful for the resolve of the prophet. So many discouraged him for his message. “Where is the Word of the Lord?” they challenged. “Let it come now.”
- The message of judgment.
- The message of consequences for their sins.
- The message of retribution at the hands of an enemy
had already fallen on deaf ears. Now they had fallen on rebellious, agnostic ones. They just did not believe God was about to judge them. They certainly did not believe Jeremiah’s message was from a God they believed in.
Jeremiah’s response was simply that he had not turned from his calling. Using a term almost never used for a prophet he said, “As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee.”
- He had not quit being a pastor
- He had not quit following the Lord
I cannot help but believe it is significant that he uses the term pastor. It means a shepherd; one who guides sheep to good pastures and clean waters. Though some criticize the use of it in New Testament Churches, I believe it to be an appropriate title. The pastor is a guide. He cannot force his followers to eat or to drink. He can only take them to those places where good food and water may be found. He cannot eat for them. He can only provide them the opportunity to feed for themselves and he can drive away dangers when they present themselves.
The pastor, like the flock, is a follower of the Lord. He is not over the flock but one of the flock. He can only fulfill his calling as he follows Christ to those fields of food and water.
It would be tempting, in Jeremiah’s shoes, to quit the work and quit following God. Thank the Lord he did not quit. Thank the Lord for those pastors today who feed their flock and follow the Lord.
To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
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Jeremiah 17:16 Feed and Follow
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