When a Nation Rejects God

When a Nation Rejects God

Zechariah 11:1-17

“For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.”


            What happens when a nation rejects God?  Our country is in the throes of spiritual rejection.  At every turn, it seems people think of new ways to cast off the constraints of God's moral law in pursuit of its own morality.  But what is the result?

            In chapter 11, Zechariah describes the future rebellion of Israel and their rejection of the Messianic Shepherd.  In prophetic terms, Zechariah describes that Judah and Israel will reject God-appointed leader: the Messianic King.  In verses 13 and 14, the shepherd who is rejected is given the wage of 30 shekels of silver, which was the price of a slave.  Thus, the money the shepherd received for his service was the wages of a slave. Because of the benefit of the shepherd on behalf of God, such a sum is an insult; thus, the shepherd gives the money to a potter.  This passage, coupled with Jeremiah 19, is referenced by Matthew (Matt. 27:3-10) to refer to the price for the betrayal of Jesus would be 30 pieces of silver.  The leaders of Israel will no longer desire the faithful shepherd provided by God. Instead, they will reject him and, with this rejection, bring judgment upon themselves.

            In verses 16-17, we find the judgment God will bring because of their rejection.  The judgment is not in the form of economic collapse, foreign invasion, or natural disaster.  The judgment is in the type of leaders God will place to govern the land and the teachers that distort the truth. God allows the people to receive their wishes and gives them the kind of leaders they desire.  They will be given evil shepherds who lead the nation to its destruction because they have rejected God’s Shepherd and the protection that he will provide. These leaders will be self-centered and uncaring about the people.  They will be more concerned about their political security than they are about the needs of the people.  The word “scattered” is most likely translated as “the young.”  They will turn their back on the children, and instead of protecting the children and protecting and safeguarding them, they abandon them.  These false leaders will neglect healing the injured.  They will fail to complete the most basic responsibility of a shepherd to provide for the flock 

            Tragically we are seeing this in our nation.  Instead of promoting righteousness, we are promoting immorality.  Instead of protecting children and those who are most vulnerable- a young child- we encourage the killing children.  Instead of protecting children from evil, we are promoting immorality and sin to children in our children's programs and even within the schools.  We are beginning to see the throes of God’s judgment upon our nation.  Romans 1 also shows that part of God’s judgment allows a society to descend into the pit of sin.  Romans 1 Paul describes an organization that has rejected God as one where sexual perversion, rejection of authority, and arrogance are practiced and “given hearty approval.” This we see in our culture today.  As a nation, we are witnessing firsthand the judgment of God.

            But all is not lost, nor are we without hope.  Throughout scripture, God gives the warning of Judgment to provide an opportunity for the nation to repent.  The problems and issues confronting our country are not political or economic.  The problems are spiritual.  They can only be solved when we turn our eyes away from politicians, economists, or even moralists.  It is found only when we return to God and seek his forgiveness and healing.  May this be our prayer today.  


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