Speaking the Truth- A Lesson from Jeremiah

Jeremiah 23:16-24:
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

The people of Israel would soon be going into exile in Babylon. The word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah about false prophecy that was being spoken by other prophets. The other prophets were telling the people there would be peace and no sword, or destruction, would come upon them. But Jeremiah was prophesying what God said, that the sword, or destruction, would come and the people would be taken away to a foreign land. Other prophets ridiculed Jeremiah for speaking the truth. When the exile happened, people spoke blasphemies against God and were angry with Him because of what the other prophets had falsely prophesied to the people. 

How can we relate this message to what goes on today?

Are there not people today that claim to be Christians but teach people things that are contrary to the word of God?

Think about some of the things that people say are okay but God's word says those things are not okay:
                 sex before/without marriage; cheating the government (taxes); lying ("little white lies")
                 drunkenness; rage, bitterness; hatred; not helping those in need; self-gain/profit from
                 taking advantage of peoples' weaknesses; divorce

How do you know when someone is genuinely speaking God's word? Look at verse 22- Anyone that genuinely speaks God's word will not contradict it and will lovingly try to turn people from their sins. This is one reason why we need each other as Christians- to encourage one another and to guide one another away from things that God says is sin.

What have we learned from this lesson?

1. When people do not speak God's word in truth, God's Name is blasphemed against. 
2. There are people that will tell us and try to convince us that things are okay to say and to do that God's word, the Bible, says is not okay to say and to do. 


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