“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied, and been fruitful in the land in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed. It shall not be made again. At that time, Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord and all nations shall gather to it to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly followed their own evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel and together they shall come from the land the North to the land that I gave your fathers for heritage.”
And the reason I read all of these verses, all four of these verses is because a want you to see that the turning point among God’s people, the turning point that brings about repentance and restoration and fruitfulness and joy is when God gives his people shepherds after his own heart. Who feed the people with knowledge and understanding. And from that just flows blessing and multiplication and fruitfulness and the praise of the Lord among the nations.
Let’s ask God for pastors who will feed the flock with the knowledge and understanding. We want pastors who will teach God’s Word faithfully for the glory of Christ.
As I read that. I think about the ways where Israel and Judah where the people of God struggled all throughout the Old Testament is when they did not have shepherds after God’s heart. When they were not being fed with knowledge and understanding. And the same is true today among the people of God in the church. The church prospers. And when I say the word prosper, don’t think just like worldly prosperity. Even like numerical growth, there’s all kinds of ways that we might think of prosperity in the church that are actually not the way God’s word defines prosperity.
Think people growing in likeness to Christ. People coming to faith in Christ. Making disciples of the nation’s. Like these things that the Bible does say that, that is what God is desiring for his people. And He says the key to that, so repentance of sin, restoration to God the praise and glory of God He may know, His character being put on display in His people. That happens as a result of shepherds after God’s heart feeding the people of God with knowledge and understanding.
I’m just provoked by this passage in my own life as a pastor to pray that I would be that kind of Shepherd. To pray for other pastors, even in the church that I serve in that God would help us to be man after God’s heart who feed the brothers and sisters in the church with knowledge and understanding and I’m provoked a pray for other pastors accordingly. We need to pray this for pastors in our churches.
God we know that we need shepherds by your design. We need shepherds as your people who will feed us with knowledge and understanding. Who will teach us your word faithfully. And who will do it after your heart, not for selfish gain, but for your glory. God as a pastor I pray please make me, please make me that kind of pastor. I pray for myself and other pastors in the church that I’m part of, God help us to shepherd your people after your heart to feed them well with knowledge and understanding based on your word and the power of your Spirit. God we pray together for that across churches. God please raise up shepherds after your heart. We look at the church in at least American culture and there’s so many signs of sickness and unhealth and we realize in this chapter that part of the reason if not the primary reason for that unhealth in the church is unhealth in pastors, in shepherds. That’s the turning point here in Jeremiah chapter three.
God please, please, please bring about works of repentance and restoration and revival in that sense in the hearts of pastors all across churches. Please, please oh God raise up leaders for your church. When I asked this humbly as a leader in your church, God raise up leaders who are after your heart. Who feed your people with your word, with knowledge and understanding from You. And we pray, oh God, for the health of churches, for the health of your people and for the growth in Christ and the spread the gospel the multiplication of churches that are exalting Christ through faithful shepherds after your heart. May it be so we pray in Jesus name. Amen.