I WILL RAISE UP
Zechariah 11:15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
Let us focus on the first phrase of each of the first two verses listed above. In verse fifteen we read, And the LORD (Notice that every letter is in capitals, inferring that this is God, as God, the I AM, speaking!) said unto me. And in verse sixteen we read, I will raise up a shepherd. We must therefore admit that it is not the Devil raising up a foolish shepherd to afflict those who would not bow under the True Shepherd! It is the LORD!
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: We must realize that the Devil is not God! Everything in existence and everything that occurs is from the one and only Sovereign God! Consider these verses: Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
We tend to think of God in terms of our comfort and prosperity. But consider Joshua’s warning to the people of his day. Josh. 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. Joshua was faithfully reintroducing their minds into a truthful consciousness of the character and Being of God! You can’t just assume on his goodness and then not walk in reverence and respect of his glorious and holy Person! One of the things missing in our community of faith today is a spiritually healthy and reverential fear and respect of God!
Sadly even in the “Sovereign Grace Community” we have a dualism, that is, a blaming the Devil, by a selective sovereignty, rather than a bowing to the one true God’s absolute sovereignty in all things! For instance it even seems to be Satan, and not at all the will of Calvin’s god, who puts the “wrong man” in the White House! Even though the Scriptures say, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Rom. 13:1), it seems by their attitudes that God had no part in this matter!
But was not Brother Job (2:10), correct when he told his wife that whether it seems to us to be comfortable or aggravating, it is all from the LORD, and we should bow in submission to it? For its not only disrespectful to God, but its dangerous to one’s own soul to resist those whom the LORD has sovereignly set up! Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For speaking evil of those whom the LORD has set up is a characteristic of the reprobate, and not to the elect! And we certainly don’t want to do anything that causes us to have any similarity to those seen as brute beasts! 2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
Psalm 105:15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. When we read this verse we have tunnel vision. For we generally only think of the wicked showing disrespect to God’s prophets. But let us consider just who were included under that word anointed!
Did you know that Satan himself was originally anointed of God? Ezekiel. 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. He was not only anointed as a mighty angel pictured in spreading his wings over the mercy seat to cover over and protect the people’s of God (Heb. 1:14), but he even walked upon that sapphire pavement upon which was a throne with the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. (Ezek. 1:26, 10:1). He was above all other angels, standing in closest proximity to the Eternal, but as yet not Incarnated Son!
Therefore his being originally anointed, but now fallen and become Satan, even the great archangel, Michael, showed him respect! Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
While still in the den of lions, the Prophet Daniel greeted Darius the Persian king, who had him thrown him in with the words, O king, live for ever. (Dan. 6:21). Christ never instigated insurrection against Pilate, or Caesar. Nor did he ever speak disrespectfully to them!
King David grieved in his heart concerning even his cutting off the skirt of Saul’s garment! 1 Samuel 24:5 And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. 6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. And in the last two examples, those being respected were seeking to take their life!
And Cyrus the Persian (Dan. 6:28), is not only termed by God’s word as, my shepherd, but also as his anointed! (Isa. 44:28, 45:1). And to show you just how strong that word is, it is the exact same Hebrew word translated, Messiah in Daniel 9:25, 26!
And Nebuchadnezzar is called my servant an equal number of times as is King David in the Book of Jeremiah! (Nebuchadnezzar – Jer. 25:9, 27:6, 43:10. David – Jer. 33:21,22,26.) What we must understand is the difference in God’s granting gifts without grace, from his granting grace with or without gifts! Satan, Cyrus, and Nebuchadnezzar may have had gifts for the service they were to render to God and His people. But King David had grace with gifts to preserve his soul in righteousness while he served the Lord and His flock!
I Will Raise Up
Every living thing has it’s life granted to them and is sustained by God, the Holy Spirit! Not even a poison ivy plant has it’s existence except it is sustained in its own individuality by the Lord! Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Or, all things consist in Him.
Let us see what we can learn concerning God’s raising up foolish shepherds, as well as true shepherds. In Isaiah 10:5-6 we read; O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
Here the Lord is stating that the unregenerate nation of Assyria is actually in existence at that time, to be the extension of his own afflicting arm against Israel. Assyria has existence and power because God “raised them up!” And he raise them up to chastise his hypocritical nation Israel. But lest you think anyone is without accountability, even if raised to afflict the Lord’s people, consider verse twelve.
Isaiah 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. What?!? Wait a minute! How can God turn around and punish Assyria, who was raised up as a chastening rod by God, for doing God’s will? – Read the verse again! He will now punish them because they didn’t do what they did for the Lord’s glory! They did what they did while worshipping their own strength and their own gods, and doing it for their own personal glory! (Isaiah 10:13,14; Hag. 1:15-16).
Judas didn’t betray Christ in order to bring you your salvation! He didn’t do it for the accomplishment of divine redemption! He did it for the money! But all things are to be done for God’s glory! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Listen to God’s word concerning the death of his Son. Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: It was God’s predetermined will for his Son to die! And yet he accomplished it by hands that would be classified as wicked!
Therefore we must see that God raised up these wicked to be used for his glory and his people’s good! Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. And when he had finished performing his whole work of correcting his people, he discards the implements of their chastisement. – God is absolutely sovereign and in control of both the wicked and the righteous!
Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Matt. 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
All things, all peoples, all events are under God’s sovereign control and are for the spiritual benefit of his chosen people! 1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
May we all bow and worship the Lord Christ.
Pastor Gene Breed
May 19, 2011