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DEVOTIONAL: Be Careful Whom You Follow

My people were lost sheep; their shepherds led them astray, guiding them the wrong way in the mountains. They wandered from mountain to hill; they forgot their resting place.  –Jeremiah 50:6 (CSB)

Although most of us probably don’t like to admit it, we humans often find ourselves in “follower mode.” And that’s not always a bad thing. When we are around people who know more about a subject than we do, we are wise to follow and learn from their expertise.

In many places in both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible compares people to sheep. Though we may find the comparison unflattering, sheep are slow, poor at defending themselves against attack, and not very bright. That’s why sheep are fully dependent on a wise, brave, committed shepherd to keep them safe and lead them to fresh pastures and water, especially in the desert, where much of the Bible was written.

In this passage, God sent a message via the prophet Jeremiah. God is upset that His people are lost and speaks in metaphor. But note. God is not angry with His people, whom He describes as “lost sheep.” Instead, God levels the accusation against “their shepherds,” that is, their leaders.

Just as bad shepherds lead their sheep astray to wander in the mountains without benefit of pasture or water for rest and refreshment, so God was calling out the corrupt leaders for ignoring those under their charge and letting when wander off into trouble or danger.

Are you in a position of authority? Lead well and with integrity. The Bible commands leaders: “Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” (I Cor. 4:2 NLT)

Are you in a position where you have to follow someone’s guidance? (Also, each time we vote in an election, we are choosing to put someone in charge.) Be careful whom you follow!


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