Sometimes it seems like some people invoke a phrase without understanding, perhaps, what they've truly invoked. Take some guy who might have used the phrase "struck shepherd". What's that referring to?
Zechariah 13:2-6 (NIV)
“On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord’s name.’ Then their own parents will stab the one who prophesies.
“On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. Each will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’
“Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones. ...
Considering that false prophets were described as meriting death in the Torah, merely being allowed to live could be considered an unusual amount of mercy.
How many pastors would feel honored by the phrase "struck shepherd" being applied to them? Who wants to be described as a self-serving and lying false prophet?
It's not like Zechariah 13's the only oracle against self-serving shepherds who can't be trusted to tell the truth.
There's another one in Ezekiel 34 that talks about shepherds who care for themselves and not for God's people; those who view the flock as a resource to be exploited rather than cultivated.
Ezekiel 34:1-10 (NIV)
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
“ ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
Refrain from describing yourself and others as "struck shepherds" unless you're willing to self-identify as a false prophet who deserves the wrath of the Lord for being a user of the sheep and a liar. To borrow somebody's old lines, I'm just delivering the mail here.