Speak The Truth Even When It is Unpopular

Bible scholar and author D. A. Carson tells of a time when he and a friend were going to the beach for some much- needed peace and quiet, but when they got there they found a horde of high school kids celebrating graduation with lots of beer, loud music and, shall we say, pu … More


Hananiah was one of the false prophets who confronted Jeremiah (vv. 1-4). Hananiah’s home, Gibeon, was in Benjamin, about 6 miles northwest of Jerusalem. The Gibeonites deceived Joshua into making  a treaty with them (Josh. 9:1-15). It was at Gibeon that Joab killed Amasa (2 Sam. 20:8-10). Hananiah promised that the rebellion would be followed by restoration (vv. 5-11). Hananiah became the recipient of God’s judgment. He even resorted to violence and destroyed the wooden yoke which Jeremiah was wearing by divine directive (v. 10). He continued his deception of claiming to be God’s prophet (v. 11). Jeremiah spoke the truth but it was unpopular. Hananiah spoke lies, but his deceitful words bought false hope and comfort to the people.

God’s message used Hananiah’s actions to show the harshness of the coming judgment. Hananiah had broken a wooden yoke, but God would replace it with a yoke of iron that could not be broken (vv. 12-14). After answering Hananiah’s predictions Jeremiah attacked Hananiah’s credentials as a prophet (vv. 15-17). God had not sent Hananiah as His spokesman, but through his eloquent speech he had persuaded the nation of Judah to trust in lies. Rebellion against God’s servant and messenger is also rebellion against God, and is a capital offense (vv. 16, 17). Even greater is the punishment for one who, in addition to rebelling personally, teaches rebellion to others (v. 16).


Jeremiah spoke the truth, but it was unpopular while the people preferred to listen to comforting lies rather than painful truth. I want to always confront people with the truth even when it is unpopular.

Jeremiah 28:1-17 (English Standard Version)

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