“Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord(v.2)”.
‘Pastors that feed my people’ are to be understood from this context,”O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name(Is.26:13)”. In monarchical system the nation of Israel has had an array of kings both good and bad. By law of gradation all these are catalogued as good or evil and their frame of reference is to God the Sovereign Lord of all. Whether pastor or Sanhedrin of the post-exilic times they were leaders or pastors and as such they were accountable to God for their actions. One egregious miscarriage of justice was when they denied and rejected Christ the servant-king before Pontius Pilate and vowed Caesar as their only lord. This was foreordained and it was quoted by Jesus on the night he was taken,”…”This very night you will all fall away on account of Me. For it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered(Matt.26:31).’ He was quoting Prophet Zachariah(13:7). Revelatory nature of prophets takes us all the way to God and the Spirit in setting forth the desolations with which evil of man and nations are purged periodically are not in strict chronological order. When God commanded Jeremiah not to take a wife or family ‘in this place’ he served as a sign. It is not how God demanded of Hosea. In this present chapter while God reveals about return of the nation of Israel what he revealed to him in Ch.16 is of the same, immediate turn around as well of turmoil breaking out in the future leading up to the Millennial Reign. (Je.16:13-21)
3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase./ And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
This is what we see at present and the present state is not frozen in time but it is leading to desolations that are to fall upon the whole earth. It is signified by a whirlwind which Spirit introduced in an earlier chapter(Is.66:15). In the present chapter vv.19-24 it is ever on the move which must be considered as perpetual in the same category of perpetual backsliding of the nation. If we consider everlasting light representing righteousness of God it is only natural to accept as Just God the whirlwind of his fury is intended to break upon the wicked or the children of darkness.
In the Vision of Ezekiel we read of this whirlwind coming out of the north(Ez.1:4). In this context we get some additional clues from the Book of Psalms. We read of God ‘who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:/ Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:(Ps.104:3-4).
“Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked./ The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly./ I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied./ But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings./ Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?/ Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
This Day of the Lord has already begun and its outward manifestation has been the desolations of Judah and Jerusalem under Assyria,Babylon and under Imperial Rome. It shall culminate in the advent of the Messiah-King, the Anointed One from God. It is what we read in v.5: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.
7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8 But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.