Sunday, January 25, 2004

Their leader will be one of their own; their ruller will arise from among them. I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? Jeremiah 30:21

This seems to be a declaration from the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah of the Messianic Davidic ruler who will be in charge of the people upon their return to the land from exile. The verse right after this says, "So you will be my people, and I will be your God." It seems to be a prophetic message of hope for the people of Israel. Someone from among them will be raised up to lead them as they return from exile.

However, when I read this passage devotionally, trying to apply it to myself, I think in terms of being a pastor. This passage seems to speak to the power of a leader coming from the authority of the community. With relationships already built in community because you are "one of their own" leadership takes on a more authentic feel to it. You know the people you lead. And they know you and have seen your character in action. Then in the second half of the verse, the internally raised pastor is challenged in his/her walk with the Lord. Will the pastor be someone who "will devote himself/herself" being close to God? We are all supposed to be imitators of our Messiah Jesus. Every Christian. And yet this is especially true for leaders in the church. This verse seems to act as a criteria for pastors who want to truly lead their churches to be His people and for Him to be their God.


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