Thursday, August 14, 2008

It is a Lie!

August 14: Jeremiah 26-29

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.

10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Jeremiah 29:8-14

It is a Lie!

In our passage today we are confronted with lying prophets who spoke the words the people wanted to hear rather than speaking the words of the Lord.

God told Jeremiah to make a yoke to put around his neck, illustrating the yoke of the Babylonians around the neck of Judah. 70 years they would be under the rule of Babylon; this was not what the Israelites wanted to hear. Then, along came Hananiah the prophet declaring to the people that the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar would be broken from their necks in two years. After Hananiah broke the yoke off Jeremiah's neck, God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 28:13,

“Go, tell Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars, but you have made in their place bars of iron."

15 And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the Lord.’”

17 In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.
Jeremiah 28:15-17

Again, the primary audience for today's reading is the Israelites, but secondarily we need to heed the same advice.

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.

As you read these verses from Jeremiah 29, what application can you make to your own life today? Were all the prophets true prophets? Are all pastors true pastors? The responsibility is always yours to compare what you hear with the Word of God. Does your pastor speak only those words which he feels the congregation wants to hear--words that will make them feel good about themselves but do not convict them of their sin or challenge them to live a faithful life before God? Or is your pastor a faithful preacher of the Word, speaking clearly the truths of the Word even if he knows his words may offend some in the congregation?

The lying prophets were punished by the Lord, but so were the people who listened to them! What a responsibility we have today to know the Word of God, and to walk closely with our God, so that we may discern between words of truth and words of falsehood!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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