Poor Shepherds and a Great God

Zechariah 10:1–6 (NKJV)

10:1 Ask the Lord for rain

In the time of the latter rain.

The Lord will make flashing clouds;

He will give them showers of rain,

Grass in the field for everyone.

2 For the idols speak delusion;

The diviners envision lies,

And tell false dreams;

They comfort in vain.

Therefore the people wend their way like sheep;

They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.

The prophet here encourages Israel to ask for rain from God, for only Yahweh truly provides the rain.  His rain will bring grain and fruit to the nation.  They sought idols and false prophets, but they could not bless the people of God.  Poor or nonexistent shepherds did not protect them, but Yahweh will protect them.

3 “My anger is kindled against the shepherds,

And I will punish the goatherds.

For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock,

The house of Judah,

And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.

4 From him comes the cornerstone,

From him the tent peg,

From him the battle bow,

From him every ruler together.

5 They shall be like mighty men,

Who tread down their enemies

In the mire of the streets in the battle.

They shall fight because the Lord is with them,

And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.

6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah,

And I will save the house of Joseph.

I will bring them back,

Because I have mercy on them.

They shall be as though I had not cast them aside;

For I am the Lord their God,

And I will hear them.

The Lord continues His claim that He is the only provider and protector of Jerusalem.  Only the Lord can help His people.  His anger is aroused against the poor shepherds, and He promises to make His people Judah like a strong battle horse.  He will the cornerstone, the battle bow, the ruler.  He will be the mighty man and tread down the enemies of Israel.  The Lord will strengthen and save their house and bring them back.  Restoration will help them feel as though nothing had changed.  The condition after exile will be just as great as the condition before.  God restores fully.  Don’t let the poor shepherds lead you astray or discourage you beyond measure.  God is the Great Shephed, and He will protect and bless you!

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