True and False Prophets
Scripture reading for August 7th: Jeremiah 11-15
“Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.” (Jeremiah 14:11-12)
Jeremiah had been given strict instructions not to pray for the people but to speak what God told him to say. God was fed up with His people’s attitude and actions. They had crossed the line of no return therefore He would send judgment. He sent His message of judgment with Jeremiah but Jeremiah’s message conflicted with that of most of the other prophets in the nation.
“But I said, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, the prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place'” (Jeremiah 14:13)
God told Jeremiah that those prophets were speaking lies in His name. God did not send them or appoint them. They were self-appointed and they made up a message that tickled the ears of the people that listened. They used false visions that God had not given them and they spoke from the delusion of their own minds. (Jeremiah 14:14-16) God was going to let the true word from Him come upon them in the form of sword and famine and calamity!
Now put yourself in the place of the people of that day and decide which message you would rather listen to? Would you listen and heed Jeremiah’s call for judgment on the king and queen? Would you love to hear of God’s plan to send four kinds of destroyers against His own backslidden people? (Jeremiah 15:3-9) Or would you sooner listen to soothing prophesies of peace and safety?
I fear today that many false prophets are again filling people’s ears with what they want to hear. Many self-appointed prophets give messages that do not come true. God’s word declares how to tell the true from the false. “You may say to yourselves, “How can I know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) Be careful who you listen to!