In my quest to read the entire Bible, I have certainly found some very unique passages of scripture. I have learned a great deal about following Christ, a lot about the history of God's people, have had several great laughs, and occasionally run across passages that I find boring. (Can you say Leviticus?)
Today I was reading Zechariah 11. Zechariah's ministry was very interesting. In this passage, God has called him to be a worthless shepherd in order to show God's people the difference between a bad shepherd and the Good Shepherd. This is a very serious passage, meant to convict us of our temptation to follow after other loves instead of God. I tried hard to be convicted and repentant, but I just couldn't get over laughing about the harsh wording of Zechariah's sermon. It reminded me of some pastors I remember from revivals as a child. The ones who yelled their way through their sermons until they were hoarse and then sang 500 verses of "Just As I Am" until somebody walked the aisle. See what you think.
"I will give this nation a shepherd who will not care for the sheep that are threatened by death, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves. DOOM is certain for this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will CUT HIS ARM and PIERCE HIS RIGHT EYE! His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind!"
"I won't be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And those who remain will devour each other!"
(here's my odd sense of humor - normally when you die, don't you die, and normally when you are killed, don't you get killed?)
Seriously, there are some great truths in this passage about how much God values faithfulness. Please don't let my twisted sense of humor cause you to miss God's point about the seriousness of sin. I just got tickled about the wording and thought, "Wow, God, what an uplifting start to my day!" (sarcasm)