Jeremiah 10:21-22 (NIVUK)
21 The shepherds are senseless
and do not enquire of the Lord;
so they do not prosper
and all their flock is scattered.
22 Listen! The report is coming –
a great commotion from the land of the north!
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,
a haunt of jackals.
God looked for the leaders of his people to be shepherds of them, to protect them and guide them in his ways. Alas, those who were supposed to be shepherds stopped listening to God and started going their own ways, not his. In the end, as Jeremiah warned, God’s people were exiled from the Promised Land both as a consequence of their straying, but also as a means to sock them into their senses, to encourage them to turn back to him.
Father, there is a sense in which we’re all called to be shepherds, to point people towards you and your goodness. Forgive us for the times when we fail to look to you ourselves, let alone lead others.