Why Does Jehovah Tolerate Wicked Shepherds?

When Jehovah entrusts someone with the responsibility and blessing of oversight of his people, but then the person thus appointed becomes presumptuous and rebellious after his anointingsuch as in the case of the "anointed covering cherub"; and kings Saul and Jeroboam―by the fact that Jehovah himself had chosen and anointed that person, he has become indirectly responsible for their devious and wicked course. Jehovah respects that appointment enough to allow the person to continue during the time allotted to him. The rebellious course of one thus anointed by God is not the fault of God for having chosen the person in the first place, who at the time was humble and "little in his own eyes". (Compare 1 Samuel 15:17-19; Ezek. 28:14-16)

The apostle Paul explains that overseers within God's household are appointed by holy spirit, and that they need to meet certain qualifications. (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5-9) To that, the apostle Peter adds the seriousness of an overseer's responsibility, when he writes: "Shepherd the flock of God in your care, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; neither as lording it over those who are Godís inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd has been made manifest, you will receive the unfadable crown of glory." (1 Peter 5:1-4)

Now, suppose such an overseer, after his appointment, becomes self-important and proud due to his position over his fellow brothers, even abusive and tyrannical, causing many of God's sheep to scatter. (Compare Ezekiel 34:2-10) Will Jehovah remove such a wicked overseer from his position immediately? He may, if he chooses to do so. But he may also permit the wicked shepherd to continue in his wicked course, until God's appointed time for his judgment arrives. As Jesus said, at that time, he will identify his "faithful and discreet" overseers; while he will punish the evil shepherds "with the greatest severity and will assign [them their] part with the hypocrites." (Matt. 24:45-51; Acts 20:29,30)

Do the Scriptures indicate, anywhere, that God allows the wicked shepherds time to continue in order to vindicate his own sovereignty? No, but the time that God does allow, provides them the opportunity to turn around and repent. (Rom. 2:4-6;  2 Peter 3:9)

The reason that Jehovah has allowed so much time to pass after the rebellion in Eden has nothing to do with him needing time to "vindicate his sovereignty"; just as he did not allow the wicked kings to continue in their rebellious course simply to vindicate his own sovereignty over mankind. Jehovah has not subjected mankind to futility and suffering just to prove that he is the rightful Sovereign. (Rom. 8:18-25) Any suffering has always been the result of disobedience! He has, though, allowed the rebellion of the anointed covering cherub to run its course, along with its consequences, until he brings it to a conclusion at his appointed time. (Rev. 1:3)

For us, God's allowance of wickedness and suffering for the past six thousand years, seems like a very long time indeed; but to Jehovah, "a thousand years are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch during the night." (Psalms 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8) The time is coming when mankind's suffering under Satan's rule will end and not even be remembered, because "the former things have passed away." (Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 21:3-4)

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