“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord.
The KJV says, “Woe be unto the pastor’s”.
The NLT says, “What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people”
It is obvious from the supporting scripture the leadership of Judah is meant – the kings, the civic leaders, and the priests. All were responsible for their part in the moral depravity of the nation.
In that society, the king was [supposedly] a moral agent of God – anointed to lead His people.
Even in certain monarchies today the church takes a great part in the blessing of the king or queen, viewed as God’s leader for that nation.
I take this scripture more personal. I am a pastor and a shepherd of God’s people.
I am a moral leader.
This verse has always concerned me when I think of my pastorate.
I have seen many people come and go in my church.
Did I scatter them?
Perhaps yes and then perhaps they scattered themselves, not willing to commit, stick around, or submit to Biblical pastoral authority.
More often, I see the sheep scattering the sheep.
I have witnessed church members dislike other church members.
I heard a deacon say he could not fellowship with a part of the church.
I have seen totalitarian dictatorial pastors who believed they were the right hand of God, which is where Jesus is.
Pastors should have accountability.
Pastors should have prayer from their flock.
Pastors should have support.
Pastors should have friends from the congregation.
Pray for your church and pray for your pastor.