It has been said that everything rises and falls on leadership. That certainly seems to be the case in Jeremiah 23.
God begins by warning and pronouncing ‘woe’ to the leaders of Israel who were like shepherds who scattered the sheep of Israel rather than protecting and visiting them.
The offenses of these prophets and priests are detailed in v.9-40. They were profane (godless) (v.11), adulterous (v.14), and dishonest (v.14). They would lie to the people, giving them false prophecies and made-up messages that were not from God.
In contrast to these failed spiritual leaders, God promised to personally deal with the offenders, gather the dispersed flock of Israel, and set up shepherds who would feed them and love them. This ultimately will take place when Jesus Christ, the son of David, the righteous branch of David’s line, comes and rules and reigns over the house of David.
As we consider these two types of leaders, we have a choice to make. Will we follow the lies of those who tell us what sounds good but is not true? Or will we follow the Lord our God, Jesus Christ, who is the true Shepherd, and those that He appoints?
Also, it is a challenge for those who have leadership of any kind. We can be self-serving, dishonest, and people-pleasing. Or we can be generous, honest, and faithful to the Lord.