Zechariah 11:4–10 (NKJV)
4 Thus says the Lord my God, “Feed the flock for slaughter, 5 whose owners slaughter them and feel no guilt; those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich’; and their shepherds do not pity them. 6 For I will no longer pity the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord. “But indeed I will give everyone into his neighbor’s hand and into the hand of his king. They shall attack the land, and I will not deliver them from their hand.”
7 So I fed the flock for slaughter, in particular the poor of the flock. I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bonds; and I fed the flock. 8 I dismissed the three shepherds in one month. My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 9 Then I said, “I will not feed you. Let what is dying die, and what is perishing perish. Let those that are left eat each other’s flesh.” 10 And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples.
This uncertain allegory of shepherds and sheep seems to represent Israel as it is led by unworthy leaders, and as it rejects the covenant of Yahweh. Israel’s leaders have sold them into bondage, and they are led away as slaves and prisoners. God calls Zechariah to symbolically feed the flock, and to dismiss the unworthy shepherds (3 is a complete number, signifying a complete removal of bad shepherds). When the sheep did not respond to his leadership, the Lord loathed them and pledged to let the dying die. As Zechariah broke the staff called Beauty, it was a sign of the covenant with Israel being broken.
God is longsuffering and kind. He reaches out to the wayward and draws them back in. However, God will not tolerate absolute rebellion. When we rebel against God, He will allow us to go our way and face destruction. Only when we realize our error and return to Him will we be restored to relationship with Him. Turn your heart back to God and loathe Him not. He is our mighty, righteous King!