Zechariah 11:8
And in one month I dismissed three shepherds. My soul grew impatient with the flock, and their souls also detested me.
Sermons
A Mutual Dislike Between God and ManHomilistZechariah 11:8
A Mutual Dislike Between God and ManD. Thomas Zechariah 11:8
Abhorring the Name of GodE. D. Pressense.Zechariah 11:8
Divine RejectionHomilistZechariah 11:8
The Two StavesW. Forsyth Zechariah 11:7-10
The True ShepherdW. Forsyth Zechariah 11:7-14
Divine RejectionD. Thomas Zechariah 11:8-11
My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me. It would be idle to attempt to ascertain who are intended by the "three shepherds" that were "cut off in one month," and who are here represented as abhorring God and "loathed" by him. In running through the various conflicting explanations, as given by biblical critics, we feel such a task would be utterly hopeless and a waste of time. We take the words in order to illustrate a mutual dislike between God and man. That such a mutual dislike exists is proved by the moral history of the world, the consciousness of individuals, and the testimony of the inspired Word. Between God and man there is a mutual moral antagonism. We offer four general remarks on this subject.

I. THIS MUTUAL MORAL ANTAGONISM IS MANIFESTLY ABNORMAL. It is not conceivable that the all-wise and all-loving Maker of the universe would create beings whom he would loathe and who would abhor him. Such an idea is opposed at once to our intuitions and our conclusions. The Bible assures us, in language most explicit and in utterances most frequent, that mutual love, similar to that which exists between the most affectionate parents and their children, was that which existed in the pristine state of humanity. God loved man, and man loved God.

II. THIS MUTUAL MORAL ANTAGONISM IMPLIES WRONG ON MAN'S PART. For Infinite Purity and Righteousness to loathe the corrupt and the wrong is not only right, but a necessity of the Divine character. He abhorreth sin; it is the "abominable thing" which he hates. This is his glory. But for man to abhor him, this is the great sin, the fontal sin, the source of all other sins. To abhor the infinitely Loving and Lovable is, indeed, a moral enormity. They "hated me without a cause."

III. THIS MUTUAL MORAL ANTAGONISM EXPLAINS THE SIN AND WRETCHEDNESS OF THE WORLD. Why does the world abound with falsehoods, dishonesties, and oppressions, unchastities, cruelties, and impieties? Because human souls are not in supreme sympathy with the supremely Good, because they are at enmity with God, and not "subject to the Law of God." And why all the miseries of humanity? Because God loathes sin.

IV. THIS MUTUAL MORAL ANTAGONISM ARGUES THE NECESSITY FOR A RECONCILIATION. The great want of the world is the reconciliation of man to the character and the friendship of God. Such a reconciliation requires no change on God's part. His loathing is the loathing of love - love loathing the wrong and the self - made miserable. The change must be on man's part. "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." Christ is the Atonement, the Reconciliation. - D.T.







My soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred Me
Homilist.
I. This mutual moral antagonism is MANIFESTLY ABNORMAL. It is not conceivable that the all-wise and all-loving Maker of the universe would create beings whom He would loathe and who would abhor Him. Such an idea is opposed at once to our intuitions and our conclusions. In the pristine state of humanity, God loved man, and man loved God.

II. This mutual moral antagonism IMPLIES WRONG ON MAN'S PART. For Infinite Purity and Righteousness to loathe the corrupt and the wrong is not only right, but a necessity of the Divine character. He abhorreth sin; it is the "abominable thing" which He hates. This is His glory. But for man to abhor Him, this is the great sin, the fontal sin, the source of all other sins.

III. This mutual moral antagonism EXPLAINS THE SIN AND WRETCHEDNESS OF THE WORLD. Why does the world abound with falsehoods, dishonesties and oppressions, unchastities, cruelties, and impieties? Because human souls are not in supreme sympathy with the supremely good, because they are at enmity with God, because God loathes sin.

IV. This mutual moral antagonism ARGUES THE NECESSITY FOR A RECONCILIATION. The great want of the world is the reconciliation of man to the character and the friendship of God. Such a reconciliation requires no change on God's part. His loathing is the loathing of love, love loathing the wrong and the miserable. The change must be on man's part. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.

(Homilist.)

Homilist.
A time comes in the history of incorrigible nations and incorrigible individuals when they are rejected of heaven.

I. THE CAUSE OF THIS LAMENTABLE EVENT. "My soul loatheth them."

II. The RESULT. The results here are threefold.

1. The cessation of Divine mercy. "I will not feed you."

2. Abandonment to self-ruin. "That that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off." "The wages of sin is death." "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

3. Deliverance to mutual tormentors. "And let the rest eat everyone the flesh of another." All these results were realised in a material sense in the rejection of the Jewish people. Josephus tells us that in the destruction of Jerusalem, pestilence, famine, and intestine discord ran riot amongst the God-rejected people. These material evils are but faint emblems of the spiritual evils that must be realised by every God-rejected soul.

III. The SIGN. "And I took My staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break My convenant which I had made with all the people." The Divine Shepherd is represented as having two staves, or crooks; ordinary shepherds have only one. Expositors in their interpretation of these staves differ here as in most places elsewhere in this book. Some say they indicate the double care that the Divine Shepherd takes of his people; some, the different methods of treatment pursued by the Almighty Shepherd towards His people; some, that they refer to the house of of Judah and to the house of Israel, indicating that neither was to be left out in the mission of the work of the Good Shepherd; and some, that the one called "Beauty" —which means grace — represents the merciful dispensation, under which the Hebrew people had been placed; and the other staff called "Bands," the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. One thing seems clear, that the cutting of the staff called "Beauty" asunder was a symbol of their rejection from all future grace and mercy. It may be stated as a general truth, that all heaven-rejected souls have signs of their miserable condition. What are the general signs?

1. Practical ignorance of God.

2. Utter subjection to the senses.

3. Complete devotion to selfish aims.

4. Insensibility of conscience.

(Homilist.)

"For the last ten years I (Gambetta) have made a pledge with myself to entirely avoid introducing the name of God into any speech of mine. You can hardly believe how difficult it has been, but I have succeeded, thank God!" (Dieu merci!) Thus the name so sternly tabooed rose unconsciously to his lips at the very moment when he was congratulating himself on having overcome the habit of using it.

(E. D. Pressense.)

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