“For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.”
“Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
In these passages in Jeremiah we find an intense unction penetrating through the spirit of the prophet as he voices a warning to what the scripture calls pastors. The word Pastors here is the Hebrew word ra’ah (raw-aw) which has a variety of meanings, all of which include differing facets of leadership. It becomes apparent that in Jeremiah’s warning to Israel, the prophet felt the need to warn the leadership of Israel as well.
In chapter 10 Jeremiah tells us that the pastors, or leadership, has become brutish. Brutish is an old English word we don’t use any more, although some people still use the term brute. It simply means a savage or an unreasonable individual. It’s interesting because in the Hebrew language it goes a step further and it literally means barbaric, unreceptive, to be stupid or dull-hearted. In a general sense it simply refers to an individual who has lost their compassion and their sensitivity in the spirit. It’s always dangerous when leaders lose their compassion for the lost, and their receptiveness to the spirit of God! How, you might wonder, can a minister become so hard-hearted and unreceptive? Because, Jeremiah said, they have not sought the Lord!
There is a danger, and I’ll just warn you now, of getting to a place where your messages are birthed from a computer chair instead of a prayer closet! There will come a time when your wisdom is derived from your past experiences and not from the connection you had to the spirit! Never become so “mature” spiritually that you no longer feel the need to seek God for everything! My wife and I pray about every decision we make, even if it seems like an easy decision. Why? Because I never want to get comfortable living without His influence!
When God chose Saul the Lord Himself said he was a goodly young man, and there was none goodlier than him. Saul in the eyes of God had no equals. His physical stature alone was awe inspiring as the Bible says he was head and shoulders above everyone else. Saul demonstrated the necessary qualities of leadership when he couldn’t find the lost donkeys of his father the Bible says he sought out the man of God, because he knew the man of God could give him direction! Saul’s mission was to find his daddy’s lost donkeys, yet in Saul’s attempts to rescue the lost, Saul got disoriented. And he had to find the man of God to give him directions! Listen, if you don’t have a pastor or an elder in your life; you will end up just as lost as the ones you’re trying to save!
In the early stages of his anointing Saul exhibits insecurities. He’s hiding in a barrel the day of his inauguration as king. He’s reserved about his abilities, unsure if he’s up for the task. But as Saul is anointed, and as he experiences victory for the first time, somehow Saul’s mentality began to change. Whereas Saul needed guidance from God in order to find lost donkeys, now Saul is at an altar making sacrifice and burning incense before God. It was at this moment when Saul became brutish!
The day Saul stopped seeking God; Saul lost his compassion and his receptiveness to the word of God. No longer would Saul love David, instead he would seek his life! No longer would Saul heed the word of God, Saul would do what Saul thought was necessary. And just as Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 10, Israel did not prosper, and the people were scattered! How could Saul go from the altar of God to a witches table? How could a man whose stature was so great cower at a giant named Goliath? How could a young man so goodly and promising end up so miserable? The answer is simple, Saul stopped seeking the Lord.
There is nothing in this world so small that you don’t need God’s counsel! The enemy would love to convince you that you are capable of making decisions on your own, but the moment you stop seeking God, you put yourself in danger of becoming brutish!
it is so easy to get to this place in your walk with God. At first you will recognize your dependence on God, but as time goes by and you experience more and more you will feel the urge to make the sacrifice at the altar by yourself!
• I don’t care how smart you get, you still need God!
• I don’t care how popular you get, you still need God!
• I don’t care how polished a preacher you get, you still need God!!
I used to marvel at how so many men could stop preaching truth and suddenly cling to some watered down inclusion hypocrisy. But it’s really quite simple, they stopped seeking God! When you learn to preach without the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, it’s time to find an altar! When you can manipulate crowds with talent and neglect to seek the anointing, it’s time to find an altar! We must develop a hunger and a thirst for God! We need a revival of passion in the ministry!
“Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard…”
The vineyard in this setting is a reference to God’s house, or the church. And Jeremiah is saying that the leadership has destroyed it! Worse than just destroying it, the Bible says they trodden it under foot! Now how can the ministry destroy the vineyard? And better yet, how is the ministry responsible for trodding it under foot?
There was an article published recently by a Christian pastor/ singer named Michael Gungor, maybe some of you have read it or heard of it. In this article Michael claims that the Bible cannot be taken literal. He states that there is no scientific way that God could’ve created the earth in 6 days, and there is no way that water covered the entire world from the lowest valley to the highest mountain peak. So instead of trying to understand the Bible, the Bible is to be taken as an allegory. It’s not a book of facts, it’s a book of cool stories that are designed to teach us lessons.
His church, which he has affectionately called Bloom, believes that ever Christian believer is accepted and saved, regardless of belief system and even sexual orientation. What disturbs me the most is the amount of “Christians” who came out of the shadows to defend him, his church, and his theology! One Facebook post I read stated it is possible to believe in evolution, and still be considered a Christian!
And when the ministry of the apostolic church doesn’t stand for the truth and when the apostolic church moves from our positions on holiness and doctrine, then we might as well close our doors, because the ministry is destroying the vineyard! We need to wake up from our slumber and realize, if we don’t stand for truth now, there won’t be a truth to defend in 5 years! The enemy has slithered into our sanctuaries and he is feeding lies into the minds of the children of God, all the while the ministry is consumed with looking cute and playing the game of response while they preach!
The vineyard has become a desolate wilderness! And being desolate Jeremiah said in verse 11 of Chapter 12, “the vineyard is mourning unto God”. In other words people are looking for something that’s real! And there has to be people in place who actually believe what their preaching! It’s not a job to preach! It’s not a career! It’s a calling! The Apostle Paul told the Philippian church, “I follow after that I may apprehend that which has apprehended me!” In other words, “I don’t do this because I want to! I do this because I have to! There something that’s got a hold of me, and It won’t let up until the whole world knows this message!” This can’t be your position, it must become your passion!
I want you to look closely at the last phrase of verse 11, “the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.” Jeremiah warned in chapter 10 of becoming cold and unresponsive, now Jeremiah is warning here in chapter 12 that the hearts of God’s people must stay engaged! When we don’t seek God, the Bible says we become uncompassionate and unreceptive! And when we lose our compassion the world loses the only hope that they have!
There is only one way to find God! Jeremiah prophesied God’s word in Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Seek the Lord with your whole heart.
That is the message to the ministry!