For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd. My anger is hot against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders.
In this passage, God reveals to Zechariah that he very upset with the shepherds of Israel (in his own words “my anger is hot against them”). What is their failure?
It is that the leaders of God’s people were failing to give a prophetic message that outdid the message of false prophets.
Instead, his people “wander like sheep” because they turned their hopes to “false dreams” and “empty consolation”. To use today’s language, the ESP, Horoscope companies, and Tarot Card Readers were making bank because the institution of God’s people couldn’t give a message from the heart of God to outdo their message.
And knowing that their message is false, the people are led astray. By the falsity of the messages they hear, they are led away from the flock, away from the heart of God.
This low moment in Israel’s history teaches us a lesson for today that I don’t want to miss: That the leaders of God’s people must be intent on unceasingly giving a message that trumps the message from the “prophets” of our culture. We cannot be silent and cannot hold back on delivering messages straight from the heart of God.
We are the mouthpiece of God. We must be louder than the headphones in people’s ears and be unrelenting in delivering life-transforming truth.