Not Everyone is a Prophet Who Dreams

T.E. Lawrence once said, “All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for many act out their dreams with open eyes. The best way … More

Dreams

God used dreams to reveal His will, and yet not every dream is God’s revelation, nor is everyone who dreams a prophet (v. 25). The dreams in this passage were designed to make Judah forget God’s name much as earlier prophets did through Baal worship (cf. v. 13). False doctrine, the deceit of one’s heart, draws people away from God and His truth just as idolatry does (vv. 26-27). God calls for honesty and faithfulness from every prophet (v. 28). God does not say a man cannot share his dream. However, God does call for a man to have enough integrity to distinguish between divine revelation and the dreams of man. God is repulsed by the man who mixes the chaff of his own dreams with the pure wheat of His word. Man’s dreams are not equal to God’s word, which burns “like a fire” and crushes “like a hammer” (v. 29).

These “prophets” did  not rely entirely upon their “dreams (vv.30-32) .” They Listened to godly prophets like Jeremiah in order to steal and twist his message, and to enhance their own. When the people sought for a word from God, Jeremiah was to announce that there was none. It had already been given; and the word from God was that He would forsake them. The people were misusing His  word so much by claiming divine authority that God told them not to mention the word again (vv. 33-35). Those who continued to claim divine oracles would be judged severely by God. The word “oracle” comes from a root meaning “to lift up,” and denotes a load or burden. Jeremiah uses a play on this word and its varied meanings to deliver the message of the coming judgment. The false prophets were making light of Jeremiah’s message when they inquired sarcastically about his “oracle” for the day. These people had claimed God’s authority for all the things they were saying (vv. 36-40). They said “God said this,” when God did not say it at all. They were preaching themselves, not God.

Application

I must faithfully take God’s Word and proclaim it to people without diluting it. I also want to help them to see the loving heart of God who desires to see us turn to Him.

Jeremiah 23:25-40 (English Standard Version)

"I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, 'declares the LORD.' Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD. "When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, 'What is the burden of the LORD?' you shall say to them, 'You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the LORD.' And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, 'The burden of the LORD,' I will punish that man and his household. Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, 'What has the LORD answered?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' But 'the burden of the LORD' you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. Thus you shall say to the prophet, 'What has the LORD answered you?' or 'What has the LORD spoken?' But if you say, 'The burden of the LORD,' thus says the LORD, 'Because you have said these words, "The burden of the LORD," when I sent to you, saying, "You shall not say, 'The burden of the LORD,'" therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'"

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