Jeremiah 12: Responsibility
I think it is rather obvious that we all have different callings. God gives people different propensities and talents, so we are supposed to use them for His benefit. Some people are called to be pastors and to lead the people of God here on earth, but as we see in Jeremiah 12, they have substantial responsibility.
Jer 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
Jer 12:11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
While metaphorical, the intent of this passage really goes without saying. The people of Israel were a vineyard. They were a particularly cultivated plot of land. Vineyards do not just spring up naturally. They are cared for, and in this case Israel was cared for by God.
He had invested time and effort into this project, but the leaders themselves had come through and done damage. The priests and pastors had taken Israel down the wrong road. Jeremiah says that they had taken a pleasant piece of land and made it a wasteland.
When you think about it, that is quite a bit of power. I am not a pastor, and if I go wrong, my sphere of spiritual influence is not that huge. I don’t mean that it is somehow acceptable for me to do wrong things just because I am not in a position of authority, but I am just saying that in terms of scale, when pastors teach wrongly, it steers a lot more people in the wrong direction because of their position and the authority that comes with it.
This is why leadership is such a big responsibility. Like I said, we all have some level of responsibility, but the people who are in charge of running churches and teaching the Word have even more on their shoulders.
In the case of Israel, the religious leaders did not do their job whatsoever, and the people became a wasteland. Fortunately, in America today, there are thousands of strong pastors who are doing the work that God has called them to do. However, we can never lose sight of this fact. When people have platforms, there is a responsibility that comes with that position.