what I need, not what I want

SCRIPTURE: Zechariah 11

OBSERVATION:
This is a scary message. It basically says that the people prefer to follow worthless leaders and teachers (shepherds). In the vision Zechariah tries to help the flock by getting rid of the bad shepherds and caring for the sheep, especially the weak. But they rejected and detested him (symbolic of all the good leaders and teachers God provided them), so God breaks the special relationship (the two staffs – Favour, Union – symbolic of the covenant bond between them and God. And He gives them what they want… a really worthless leader who ravages and ruins them.

APPLICATION:
Think about it. God’s punishment is not arbitrary. He gives us what we want. If we keep on going our own way, He will finally let us, and allow us to experience the consequences. Someone has said that ‘hell’ is the ultimate compliment, God finally accepting our decision to live without Him, and letting us have eternity without Him. People who prefer folly will inherit it. People who prefer to live by greed or lust or selfishness will inherit a life of greed or lust or selfishness, and all the misery it entails.

I hear the Lord challenging me about the direction of my desires and decisions. What am I living for, longing for, aiming for? What if He were to give me what I wanted, would I regret it? The Lord knows my heart, and He knows whether I really want Him and His kingdom first. Or whether I am in this just for the perks. I also am reminded that He is still sending good shepherds (people like Zechariah) to show me the better way.

PRAYER:
Lord, I admit it, I am not wholly devoted to You first. My desires and decisions are often selfish. Please do not give me what I want, give me what I need. I need You!

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One Response

  1. As a father loves his children, so too, the Lord our Father loves us. As an earthly father knows what his children need, so too our Heavenly Father knows what His children need and more. As the earthly father expects his children to hear his voice and obey, so too our Heavenly Father expects His children to obey. That’s the only way. But in this passage, they do not listen to the shepherds and are given over to their own ways. Ears they have but do not hear what their Father expects – obedience. Do this and live! The Father finally turns His children over to their evil ways – their desires.

    Presently we are looking at the philosophy of Christian education. There once again I see men following their own desires. Lord, may the answers to the questions:

    Who am I?
    Why am I here?
    What has gone wrong with the world?
    What am I going to do about it?

    all be rooted in You. You are my All in All. By Your Spirit, Your Encourager, give me ears that hear Your voice whispering loud and clear, this is the way. Walk in it!

    Jesus, keep me near the cross,
    There a precious fountain
    Free to all, a healing stream
    Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

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