“I Will Feed the Flock of Slaughter”

7-“And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. 8-Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 9-Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10- And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11-And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord . 12-And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. 13-And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord . 14-Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. 15-And the Lord said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16-For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17-Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened” (Zechariah 11:7-17 KJV).

A few months ago, I read this piece. I copied it onto my site, not quite sure what to do with it. The mood of this piece felt that of frustration. Today, I had another look at this piece. Now, I realize that the feeling was more of righteous anger.

We find, in this piece, God says He will be the one feeding us, the sheep of slaughter and the poor of the flock.

We are all being led to slaughter, even our good ones. However, even in this time, God gives. As he always has. He says that he took two staves and fed the flock.” The one [staff] I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands.”

My focus is on these two staves that He took. Staves, we learn, is made from wood and overlayed with brass. “And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it” (Exodus 27:6-7, KJV). Therefore, staves are used to carry something holy.

Now we find that God took two staves, one Beauty and the other bands. Immediately, we are told what Beauty means. “10- And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11-And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord .” Strikingly, God told us that He would send His son to break the old covenant He made with the people. It was done for us, the poor of the flock, and He says that we will know this and that it was the Word of the Lord.

Even the price for His Son’s betrayal was prophesied—only thirty pieces of silver. Please see verses 12 and 13. We learn in Matthew 27 that Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty silver pieces. He repented and cast the pieces of silver in the temple, as foretold by Zechariah saying, “and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.” These silver pieces bought the potters field to bury strangers (Matthew 27:7).

Jeremiah also foretold of this we read in Matthew 27:9-10 (KJV) “…and they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed Me.”

The Lord cares for those who feel His love and those that don’t want to acknowledge or know Him – John 3:16.

The other stave was bands. Bands are a flat, thin strips or loops of material used as a fastener or for reinforcement. It could also be used to mark (something) with a stripe or stripes of a different colour. What are these band or bondage devices the bible is referring to? The law. But Christ has come to set us free from these bondages. Galatians 3:13-14 (KJV) says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ: that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

And in Galatians 5:1(KJV), Paul says, “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (the law).”

Jesus also promises us to “come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV).

And as the Psalmist promises in Psalm 23:4(KJV), “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; They rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Therefore, Jesus has come to make a new covenant with the world, in which He says that He“…will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that He saith, A new covenant, He  hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:12-13, KJV).

What Jesus then ultimately came to do is to bring division among the Jews (“break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel”). Jesus himself said, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay: but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three” (Luke 12:51-52, KJV). It is up to us to choose. Because we need to decide on which side we are on, the world or God’s. Remember, the fence belongs to Satan.

Instruments of the shepherd are also called vessels of the ministry. In numbers 4:14 (KJV), it explains that “they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, the fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basons, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers’ skins, and put to the staves of it”(Luke 12:51-52, KJV).We see more and more churches breaking away from traditional worship methods, for instance, doing away with taking communion. It was also one of the first traditions of the church that has been used improperly, as you can read in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. Communion is something to be done together as a community is now taking place in a hidden corner in the church or totally taken away. Newcomers will not participate or understand the significance of taking communion.

In this piece, God also promises of His plan to “…raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces (16). We can see more and more churches enriching themselves. Occasionally, they will have packages made up for the poor. However, poverty is rising. We do not see pastors/ministers/priests visit the people struggling, go out into the hospitals to pray for healing, or support those in need. There are soup kitchens run with minimal staff. We see church members themselves stepping into these roles, but where are the shepherds?

In verse 17, these shepherds receive their warning: “Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.” One’s right arm refers to one’s strength and helps us defend ourselves (the sword arm). And “the light of the body is the eye: therefore, when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34, KJV)—drying up the shepherd’s strength and blinding them of the enemy’s works. How then can they lead the flock if they can’t see the enemy coming or protect us?

But before all this, God tells us that there are “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me”(Verse 8). Who God are these shepherds that God is referring to? There are three shepherds misguiding people mentioned in Revelations 2.

  • Nicolaitanes – ‘Christianity.com’ speculate that Nicolas was the same man as in Acts 6:5 and that “he lost his way,” therefore led many astray with false teachings
  • The doctrine of Balaam – disobeying God wanting to promote himself in others eyes (please see Numbers 22)
  • Jezebel – It seems that teachings would change to allow servants to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed unto idols.

We see all three of these teachings and attitudes in churches today. Changes happen like churches are more lenient of sins—promoting themselves in the congregation’s eyes. Church rules changing to be more relevant today, allowing for abortions, gay marriages, teaching blessings and no sufferings. But all three of these ‘leaders’ or false teachings will perish in a month.

Only in God can we trust in these difficult times. Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life. My prayer for us today: My dear Father God, please open the person’s eyes reading this. Give them all a heart of discernment. Praise Your Mighty Name Lord, for although we stumble and fall, you still tend and feed the flock for slaughter. #GodCanDoThis

Notes:

The piece under discussion can be found in:
https://bible.com/bible/1/zec.11.7-17.KJV

https://www.christianity.com> who were the Nicolaitans in Revelation? Why Did God Hate Their Practices so…

Published by juanitasamuels

I've recently graduated from Massey University with a BA in Creative Writing. I am a follower of Christ and wish to spread some hope in this world of ours. I live with my husband and two boys in Auckland, New Zealand.

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