Zechariah 10:2, For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore, the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
God’s people in Judah and Israel have gone astray and turned to false gods. They listened and adhered to the gods of the pagan nations that surrounded them despite being chosen as God’s holy people. Zechariah describes them as wandering sheep—a people who are lost and thus in desperate need of a shepherd to guide them back to safety.
This wandering and going astray might sound familiar. All around us, people are wandering around with false gods, even Christians straying from God. All around us people are wandering around in sacred autonomy, growing fat in their pride. The LGBT police demand subjugation lest you face the consequences of getting sued and losing your way of living. Religious pluralists preach moral relativism whilst clinging to moral platitudes. We have loved ones who have wandered off into addiction, finding comfort in their self-medication rather than in Christ; or we ourselves may be suffering with some form of addiction. I could continue with an indefinite list of false gods. Whatever false god it is we worship, we are in need of a shepherd to guide us back to safety.
For Judah and Israel, Zechariah assured them that Yahweh is that shepherd. Yahweh “cares for His flock,” he says, “and will make them like His majestic steed in battle. From Him shall come the cornerstone” (vv. 3b-4a). Yahweh promises strength for His people (v. 6), family fecundity (v. 7), and redemption (v. 8). Yahweh promised to be their shepherd.
That shepherd has come. Yahweh came as the Good Shepherd in the face of Jesus Christ. Jesus cares for His flock, and He invites all to come to Him when weary and overburdened (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus is the shepherd who invites the LGBTQ+ community to come to Him and be restored into God’s original design. Jesus is the shepherd for religious pluralists to come to the only door to salvation to God the Father (John 14:6). Jesus is the shepherd for addicts to come in order to receive wholeness and restoration. Whether the god of pride, autonomy, relativism, addiction, or what-have-you, Jesus is the Shepherd to guide us from our afflictions into His restoring arms.