HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
I. As we sulk in the shameful times of American history that we live in right now, times so similar to that of Jeremiah, we are very quick to point fingers. This can also be said about St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the wider Caribbean. Especially when an election is less than two years away (America St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad), the fingers point quickly to the top. We have so many needs in our countries!
- We need fewer taxes.
- We need more jobs.
- We need less national debt.
- We need better immigration laws.
So with the coming election, we ask, “Who’s to blame for all these problems, and who is going to fix them?”
Our Leaders haven’t lived up to our standards much lately. They are starting to impose their will and beliefs on all our citizens and against Christianity. Their lives are splashed all over the tabloids because of secret or shameful activity.
- We need things to improve.
- We need things to get better.
- We need leaders to uphold a higher standard.
So when we hear God condemning Israel’s leaders this morning, we smile a bit. “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture . . . Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done.” Yes! That’s right! Woe to you Israelite leaders!
- And woe to you American and Caribbean leaders!
- Woe to you for leading us astray!
- Woe to you for letting it get this bad!
- And woe to you spiritual shepherds for preaching false teachings!
- Woe to you spiritual shepherds for scamming to get money!
- Woe to all you leaders for not living up to a higher standard.
But before you condemn the Israelites of old, or Donald Trump, or Keith Rowley, or Ralph Gonsalves, or any other leader, ask yourself this: How have you lived up to God’s standards? The Israelite leaders bore a heavier punishment because they were entrusted with the care of God’s people. But the Israelites were plenty sinful themselves. In the same way, our politicians and leaders face heavy consequences for poor choices or sinful choices. But the rest of us Americans and Caribbean citizens are plenty sinful ourselves. We just have the advantage of not being as much in the spotlight and under the microscope. Our church leaders have drifted away from the truth of God’s word and have fallen in the abyss of sin and seem like there is no way out of this mess.
In fact, that might even lead to more sins. Everyone knows when a celebrity or athlete or senator messes up. But no one will know or care if you make a few bad choices. You can sin in the privacy of your own home and no one will ever know. You can keep your shameful thoughts and actions to yourself and you’ll never get caught.
Those thoughts are just foolish and false though. Even when we are all alone in the privacy of our homes or all alone in the middle of the ninth fairway, God sees and hears everything we do and say. If you could see God standing right next to you at all times, do you think you would do or say half the things you do or say?
Maybe our leaders haven’t met all of our standards. Maybe they haven’t provided for every need we have. But we have also fallen far short of God’s standards. His standard is perfection, and we aren’t even close to that. We may have needs like a better economy or more jobs or less national debt. But the greatest need of all is that something is done about our sins. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines the problem is between two political leaders and nowhere is God mentioned. I feel the best change that can happen to our country is seeking God for His will and purpose and casting our cares on Him for Him to act. Our destiny is in God’s hands and there is nothing we can do to change it except by force or a Coup d’état.
That’s what makes these words of the Lord to Jeremiah so special and important. Even though the Israelites were in one of the most sinful times of their history and were being overtaken at the time by the Babylonians, the Lord still faithfully promised his love and forgiveness: “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord our Righteousness.” Incredibly, though we are living in and contributing to one of the most sinful times in our history, we can look to God’s same promise of love and grace in these words.
Though neither our leaders nor we have lived up to God’s standards, God sent someone who did. A Branch sprouted up from the line of David. But not just any branch, a righteous Branch that was perfect and holy. A King was sent who wouldn’t rule with scandal or shame. A King came who reigns wisely and makes all the right choices. He didn’t come to save our economy or save our tax dollars. He came to save us. Hallelujah
This new leader, this new shepherd came to take our place as someone who would meet God’s standards. He came to take our place as someone who would fulfil our need for perfection and our need forgiveness. So we can call our Saviour Jesus this wonderful Name: The Lord our Righteousness. He was our perfection and his forgiveness gives us perfection. You see, The Lord Supplies Our Needs. We have A Righteous Shepherd in Jesus who lovingly forgives us and leads us.
TO BE CONTINUED ……..