Jeremiah Devotions #2: A New Breed of Pastors
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah Chapters 3-4.
“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15).
In this passage in Jeremiah, the Lord speaks to His people and gives them this promise – that He will give them shepherds according to His heart. The Hebrew word ra’ah that is translated here as shepherd also means pastor. In other words, God is telling His people that He will give them pastors (leaders, teachers, shepherds) who will feed them. Feed them what? Knowledge and understanding. Teaching from the Bible. The authoritative Word of God. And this is a very relevant and much-needed gift that the people of Israel needed during this time! Because as Jeremiah will declare a few chapters later: “The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:31).
If you didn’t know any better, you might have thought that this Scripture was written for the church today. It’s amazing how many pastors and teachers there are today who are prophesying falsely, ruling by their own power, and doing everything BUT feeding God’s people the knowledge and understanding that only comes from the Bible. I’m shocked at how many well-meaning Christians blindly follow these preachers, pastors and teachers who seldom if ever open up their Bibles in their teaching, choosing instead to teach the ‘wisdom’ of Oprah, Doctor Phil, and every other faddish self-help teacher.
As a pastor, teacher and preacher of God’s Word, I believe that this Scripture is a challenge to me to be a shepherd after God’s own heart – one who will feed His people the Word. Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Indeed, this is a challenge to anyone to dares to speak in the name of the Lord: Preach the Word! Feed the people the Word of God! And to the Christian, God’s challenge is this: Find a church with a pastor who preaches and teaches the Bible!
Lord, I’m asking that you would give the church today shepherds after your own heart. Raise up men and women who will faithfully preach the Word of God uncompromisingly and unapologetically. In Jesus’ precious name, amen! “O generation, heed the word of the LORD.” (2:31).
QUOTE: (One of my favourite quotes by Charles Spurgeon).
“The best food for you is the Word of God itself. Sermons and books are well enough, but streams that run for a long distance above ground gradually gather for themselves somewhat of the soil through which they flow, and they lose the cool freshness with which they started from the spring head. It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk and the water of man’s word.” (Charles Spurgeon, How to Read the Bible).