Reading through the Bible together
Cedar, fir tree, and oak, all represent the prominent leaders. Continuing from the previous chapter, the leaders of the people are reproached one more time. They sell the flock of God for money and enrich themselves, but they have no pity for them. They buy and slay the flock, but do not feel guilty. God would not have sympathy on these inhabitants of the land. This is shown in the following verses (6-14).
The Lord took two staves, and He named one stick as Pleasantness, which can be translated also as Delightfulness, Grace, or Beauty. It is named in terms of the pleasantness shown in His favor. But the Lord broke the staff with which He was leading the flock. Verse 10 says, He broke the staff to illustrate that the covenant between Him and His people was broken. In verse 14, the other staff that He took was also broken. He named it Union or Bond. By breaking it, God showed that the brotherhood covenant between Judah and Israel was broken.
As “Grace” is broken, our vertical relationship with God is broken. As the “Union” is broken, our horizontal relationship with people around us is broken. When you and I leave the Lord and do not follow Him wholly, our relationships will come asunder in many of the aspects of life.
Zechariah 11:12-13 is quoted in the Gospels as a prophecy being fulfilled by Judas betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (see Matt 26:15; 27:3-10). God asked the people in Zechariah: Give My price, and they weighed 30 pieces of silver. Therefore God tells Zechariah that it was the value with which they prized Me. They evaluated the Lord their God to be worth 30 silver shekels (little over $12). As we read in Matt 26 and 27, it was the price of Jesus’ life valued by Judas and the high priest, which was the customary price of a slave.
What is the price you estimate for the Lord? Are you also going to value 30 pieces of silver for your Lord and eternal life? Jesus mentions in Mark 10, the ones who give up their house, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, and land for His sake, shall inherit the eternal life in the world to come.
In the last part of the chapter, the leaders receive a severe rebuke, compared to an unfaithful shepherd. He does not visit those who are cut off nor does he heal the broken ones. The ones who are strong enough to stand, he does not nourish them to grow, and he eats the flesh of the fat ones to fill himself. They are called the “worthless shepherd.” God is very unhappy with them. “Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!”
Let us value the Lord with all we have and with all our being, as He has valued us. Let us love the Lord supremely above all, as He has loved us.
Do you, by any means, count yourself as a leader? Then know that God asks of you true revival and reformation for this season of time.
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea