What is apostacy? Are we guilty of having some type of apostacy within our lives?
Apostacy is the nullification of a religious belief or faith, abandonment of a previous loyalty, to abdicate, to renounce, to defect, or to give up. There are two types of shepherds depicted in this passage of scripture. One would show how God rejected His people (the sheep) due to their rejection of Him (Zechariah 11:4-14). The other shepherd shows how people were given over to an evil shepherd (Zechariah 11:15-17).
In verses 4-8:
God instructed Zechariah to take a position as shepherd of a flock of fattened sheep that were being butchered. During a time of spiritual and political confusion, the Messiah would lead God's people. The people were symbolized by the flock, who fed on their own avarice and wicked desires until they were ready for God's judgment.
Beauty (also known as Grace) and Bands (also known as Union) were the names that Zechariah gave to two shepherd’s staffs. To demonstrate that God’s gracious covenant with His people had been broken, he broke the first one, Beauty (or Grace). According to Zechariah 11:14, he broke the second one, known as Bands (or Union), to demonstrate that Israel and Judah’s brotherhood had been severed.
The identity of the three evil shepherds is unknown, but God removed them because He knew they were unfit to lead His people. (Ezekiel 34:2-6; Isaiah 9:19-21; Ezekiel 37:16-23; John 17:21-23)
In verses 9-12:
God broke His promise to protect Israel by breaking the staff known as Beauty (or Grace) because Israel had rejected the good shepherd.
According to Exodus 21:32, it was an insult to pay this shepherd thirty pieces of silver because this was the price paid to the owner of a slave who had been gored by an ox. In addition, Judas received this sum for betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:2-10). The price of a slave was the same price that was paid for the priceless Messiah. (Psalms 69:22-28; Jeremiah 15:2-3; John 13:27-30)
In verses 13-17:
Potters came from the bottom of society. The “goodly price,” a sarcastic remark, could be given to the potter for very little money. The fact that the 30 pieces of silver Judas received for betraying Jesus were given back to the Temple and used to purchase a potter’s (Matthew 27:3-10) is significant.
God would reject the people because they had rejected the Messiah, as demonstrated by Zechariah breaking the staff known as the Bands (or Union). The Jews began to split into a number of groups shortly after Zechariah's time, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians, and Zealots. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. as a result of the disagreements among these groups. (Acts 1:18-19; Jeremiah 2:26-27; Ezekiel 34:2-6)
So, what is the difference between having Head knowledge and Heart knowledge? Which of these did the shepherds have? Of the two, what are true church leaders supposed to have today? When we dwell upon this thought, ALL Christians are in some way leaders within the church body because someone is always looking to them for some type of spiritual guidance or influence.
If our spiritual hearts and lives are not what and where they should be, how can we be the proper Christian and proper influence to a lost and dying world? How can we lead one to the Kingdom if we ourselves are at fault for being the wrong type of shepherd? No matter what our position or social status is within the church body, our lives should reflect the light of the Lord to others so that they see Christ within us.
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