Mark Fackler

READ : Zechariah 11:7-14

“I will not be your shepherd.” (v. 9)

If you’ve read this passage twice and still don’t get it, you’re not alone. We recognize the “30 pieces of silver reference,” but wonder how that connects to anything else. This is one of the difficult chapters in the Bible.

Some things we do understand, though, and they send shivers down the spine. The covenant is broken; the shepherd is quitting; payment is rejected; the people (the sheep) are left to destroy themselves. Could our God be doing this? Could he quit on us?

The prophet uses dramatic expressions to signal God’s outrage at Israel’s habitual disregard for the law, worship, justice, and even for God himself. There has been much care on God’s part, but none at all from his people. Like a parent at wit’s end, God is portrayed as saying, “It’s over, people. Have it your way. You won’t realize how sick you are until I leave.”

Sin’s corrosive power grows little by little. You missed worship this week. No time to pray. Before long, ignoring God grows into total indifference and stunning life reversals. The support you once felt from faith in God is long forgotten. Zechariah describes the loss like a broken walking staff. You’re left with a sorry mess and nothing to lean on.

Where has God gone? When did you start missing him?


Put the fire of faith back in my heart today, my Shepherd and Lord.