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The Scriptorium

The Shepherd and His Sheep

We are His, and He is ours. Zechariah 13.1-9

Return from Exile: Zechariah 11-14 (4)

Pray Psalm 28.8, 9.
The LORD is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.

Sing Psalm 28.8, 9.
(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
Our strength are You, O Savior, our strong defense and sure.
Anointed with Your favor, we rest in You secure.
Save us, and bless us, Jesus, upon us turn Your face.
With shepherd’s care, Lord, keep us forever in Your grace.

Read and meditate on Zechariah 13.1-9.


1. How does God feel about idols and idolatry?

2. How does He feel about false prophets?

Christians are sometimes charged with being intolerant. Well, we are, or at least, we’re supposed to be. When the Spirit of God is poured into our hearts and we see Jesus in His suffering, we mourn for and repent of our sins (ch. 12). We intend no longer to tolerate sin in our lives (cf. Rom. 6.1, 2). Once we have been washed in that fountain of blood (v. 1; cf. William Cowper) and the fountain of God’s Spirit flows with peace like a river in our souls (African-American spiritual), we will develop an intolerance of sin that is healthy and altogether good.

Being intolerant of sin, we will also nurture an intolerance for that which causes us to sin, especially idols of various kinds and false teachers (vv. 2-6). Anything that commands our love more than the Lord is an idol. All idols lead us to sin. Anyone who veers from God’s Word—even though they claim to be teaching it—is not to be tolerated, because false teaching is a lie that leads to sin (Rom. 1.18-32).

Verses 7-9 remind us that the blessings of God come through suffering unto suffering. They come through the suffering of God’s Shepherd, the Branch, and they are shared by the sheep who follow Him (v. 7; cf. Rev. 1.9). Wherever the Gospel of Jesus is preached, people will believe. And wherever people believe in Christ, suffering, trials, and afflictions will ensue. But God our Shepherd will keep us as His people, and His people will know that He does, and declare with confidence, “The LORD is my God” (v. 9).

For this is our great and unfailing blessing, and nothing can separate us from it (Rom. 8.37-39).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“In that day a fountain shall be opened…for the sin and for uncleanness” (Zech. 13.1).

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood
there is no remission…but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9.22, 26-28).

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains:

Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransomed Church of God be saved, to sin no more:
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed Church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;

Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
(William Cowper, 1771)

“For this is our great and unfailing blessing, and nothing can separate us from it.”

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Rom. 8.38, 39)

For reflection
1. We are God’s people, and He is our God. Nothing can change that. How should knowing this affect the way we live?

2. How can remembering the suffering of Jesus help us endure our own trials and afflictions?

3. Whom will you encourage today to rest and rejoice in the Lord?

Christ and the Father are one. He is the Shepherd who was to lay down his life for the sheep. If a Sacrifice, he must be slain, for without shedding of the life-blood there was no remission. This sword must awake against him, yet he had no sin of his own to answer for.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Zechariah 13.1-9

Pray Psalm 28.1-7.
What temptations, trials, or challenges are you facing today? Bring them to the Lord in prayer and rest in His sovereign shepherding love. Give Him thanks and praise.

Sing Psalm 28.1-7.
(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
I cry to You, our Savior, O, be not deaf to me!
Lord, speak to me with favor, lest I should dying be.
Hear now my supplications when for Your help I cry.
Receive these, my oblations, before Your throne on high.

Lord, count me not among those who walk in sinful ways.
With words of peace their tongue glows while evil fills their days.
Your works they disregard, Lord, while evil fills their hands.
Destroy them by Your Word, Lord, and let them no more stand.

Blessed be the Name of Jesus, for He will hear our prayer.
His strength protects and shields us with mercy and with care.
In You our heart rejoices; You help us by Your Word.
To You we raise our voices to praise and thank You, Lord.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking
here and here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by 
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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