“O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them.” Nahum 3:18
One of the big indictments against Assyria was that the leaders were not leading in a helpful way. They were entirely self consumed. They were corrupt, and the people became corrupt, not just in imitating them, but drifting into whatever sin and indulgence their hearts desired.
How scary it is when people don’t think they need to have a leader. People today think it is their right to go their own way, to do as they please. They little think that they may only be alive by the grace of God, only have their health by His grace, only have wealth by His grace.
And how scary it is for me that I might not shepherd others. Jesus had compassion on people because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Today I go out to share. The people I meet will also be without a shepherd. They hear conflicting voices from false shepherds. There is no one to gather them, no one who cares enough about them to point them towards the true way their life would work. Jesus said that He was the good shepherd and he came to give life. He said the thief didn’t care about the sheep. So it was with the Assyrian leaders, and so it still is today. My prayer is that I would truly care about the sheep.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer 3) In the time of the prophets, there were few good shepherds. God talked about a time when there would be shepherds who knew Him, and understood Him, a time when there would be a revelation of the truth, and the Spirit in man’s heart.
Here are some other sayings from Jeremiah.
I will cure you of backsliding.
Circumcise your hearts to the Lord
The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority and my people love it this way.”
They dress the wounds of my people as through it were not serious
“Is there no balm in Gilead?”
But let him who boasts boast about this – that he understands and knows me — that I the Lord act out of love, righteousness and justice.
The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord, so they do not prosper
Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who rely on human strength .. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord And have made the Lord their hope and confidence They are like trees planted by the water
They will be turned into dust because they have forsaken you, the Spring of Living Water
I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing
Here is something I have been thinking about — how I need to stay in the deep end, but how I want to live in the shallow waters, foray into the deep end, and then come back to the safety and comfort of the shallow waters. A couple of days ago I read how God would expose Assyria’s nakedness, and how in Revelations they did not realize they were naked. Then I had a friend come over who has been doing a lot of searching, and realizes that serving others and being forgiving are worthwhile things, and that those who strive for success are chasing things that are not as worthwhile.
“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” (II Tim 2:4)
We can’t get involved in civilian affairs. When I do, I begin to clothe myself with emptiness, and I begin to love the shallow waters. I have to have no place to rest my head. I have to lose my life in order to save it.
There is a dilemma with those who have a form of godliness, but deny its power. They are like me, wanting to live in the comfortable shallows, and all the while saying they love God with all their heart. Yet not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” enters the kingdom. And even more, those who serve God with a divided heart get hurt and broken along the way. That is the way I was when I was in my 20’s. That is the way it was with people I study the Bible with.
So people are harassed and helpless, and the shepherds out there don’t reflect a knowledge of God, and don’t tell the people how to save their life by losing it. They allow people to think you can be comfortable and clothe yourself with the comforts of the world, and still serve God. This is what I must combat, in my own life, and in the minds of others.