Is Your Pastor a Shepherd or a Star?

Mark Dever just returned from Sabbatical and his first two sermons back at CHBC are on “The Pastor” and “The Church.”

This past Sunday, he preached number one in this two part series and you can listen here.


Texts: 1 Peter 5 and Acts 20:28


2 thoughts on “Is Your Pastor a Shepherd or a Star?

  1. Saul and David were, in some sense, the first “celebrities” of Israel. This can be seen in the way the people made songs to highlight their exploits. “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (I Samuel 18:6-7)

    However, closer inspection shows that, at least in the case of David, “hero,” might be a better description than “celebrity.” After all, David had done the great deeds the people ascribed to him by the power of God, and to the glory of God.

    David’s son, Absalom, is another story. Absalom can be more properly described as a celebrity, for his reputation and popularity were more manufactured than earned. “But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year’s end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king’s weight.” (II Samuel 14:25-26) “And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (II Samuel 15:2-6)

    In his sermon, “And the Mule Walked On,” Lester Roloff called Absalom the first “hippie,” because of his long (I Corinthians 11:14), luxuriant, red, and heavy hair, which he publicly combed out and trimmed once a year as the people admired and swooned. I think a better description of Absalom might be the first “rock star,” since his fame and popularity were based on vanity rather than substance.

    When Absalom revolted and declared war on his father, King David, the Lord, in a classic case of “reaping what you sow” (or what you comb), arranged it so that Absalom’s hair got caught in the boughs of a tree as he rode underneath it on his mule. The mule kept going, and Absalom hanged there, helpless and ridiculous, until his enemies came and turned him into a human piñata, ending his life. Let us remember Absalom, and be careful of seeking the praise of men over the approval of the Lord.

  2. Mike says:

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