1 month 3 weeks ago #10405 by FemiClef

Read Jeremiah 23:21-32
21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.
23 “ Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off?
24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.
25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’
26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,
27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
28 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
29 “ Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’
32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.

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 Jeremiah 23:21-22)

Jeremiah 23 records the Lord's great anger and judgment on people who prophesy falsely, who speak when the Lord has not asked them to speak. They abuse their positions for their own benefits and lead people astray. In v. 22, the Lord provides two important indicators for the veracity of any prophet: (1) He must have stood in the "council" of the Sender; and (2) what he speaks of must turn people away from evil to God. The "council" of the Lord is translated from the Hebrew word "sod." In the context of Jer. 23:22, "sod" refers to the intimate counsel of the Lord to prophets who fearfully seek Him and faithfully wait upon Him. Hence, the life of a true prophet must reflect a life of intimacy with God and abiding in His Word. Also, to be prophets truly called by the Lord, these persons' lifework should reflect a constant call for believers to turn away from evil and turn towards doing what is pleasing to God.
Even as our text today provides two good indicators on how to discern if a prophet is true or false, it could be challenging to do so. This is because a person's private world is only knowable to God and himself. A person can claim all he wants about his intimacy with God, yet only the Lord truly knows what is in a man's heart. Nevertheless, we are given God's grace to discern, especially through His living Word. We have the responsibility to check thoroughly, if what is proclaimed is true to God's Word as given to us in the Bible. This means that reading our Bible is not enough; the Church must equip her members with skills and tools to rightly handle God's Word (2 Tim. 2:15).
Jeremiah 23 is a solemn reminder to us, that as people who proclaim His Word and pray for His people, we must keep intimacy with the One who sends. Then, we can hear him clearly on what to say to build up our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. May the Lord provide His strength and grace for us to do so.

1. Lord Almighty, help us not to use Your name in vain; but fearfully and faithfully stay close to You and Your Word.
2. Embolden us Lord, so that we can proclaim what is true and what is right to our generation.
3. Father Lord, rid Your Church of every false and corrupt vessel.

Isaiah 20 - 23

Remain blessed!

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