Being True to God’s Word

Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never dreamed whe … More

Corruption

Corruption was one of the chief things which was wrong in Judah at this time in history. (vv. 9-14). Jeremiah’s heart was broken and his body became weak when he thought of God’s holy words (v. 9). God had shown His displeasure on the physical and spiritual adulteries being done in Judah by bringing His curse of drought so that the land was parched and withered (v. 10). Yet, instead of calling Judah back to her covenant with God, the prophets continued to lead the people on an evil course, implying that God was not using the drought to judge people for their sin (v. 11). When the prophets, who are there to correct the king from going wrong, there is no hope for the land. As a result, a fatal cancer developed in the heart of the nation which could not be cured. That is why judgment had to come (v. 12). Jeremiah compared the prophets of Samaria (v. 13) to the prophets of Jerusalem (v. 14). The prophets of Judah followed in the same paths of sin (v. 15).

There are four warning signs of false prophets - characteristics we need to watch for even today:

  1. They may appear to speak God’s message, but they do not live by His principles (v. 16).
  2. They water down God’s message to make it more acceptable (v. 17).
  3. They encourage their listeners, often subtly, to disobey God (v. 17).
  4. They appeal to the desires of their audience instead of being true to God’s Word (v. 18).

God set Himself against those prophets because they were leading the people astray with ... reckless lies, falsely claiming God’s authority (vv. 19-24).

Application

I want to always stay true to your Word and be faithful to proclaim it, even when it is not popular. I want to challenge people to get into the Word of God personally and have a “Family Time.”

Jeremiah 23:9-24 (English Standard Version)

Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right. "Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the LORD. Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall, for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, declares the LORD. In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah." Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: "Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land." Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, 'It shall be well with you'; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, 'No disaster shall come upon you.'" For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly. "I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD."

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