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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fired-up Prophets (Jeremiah 5:13-14)

"The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them." Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because my people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes."

There have always been two types of prophets:
  • False prophets prophesy for fame, money, prestige and popularity. They tell the people what they want to hear. They misrepresent the LORD and pronounce blessing on what God curses (dignify sin) and curse what God blesses (Creationism, the inerrant Word of God, etc.). False prophets fill the pulpits of many churches today. Liberal media have no problem finding and interviewing prophets who agree with them. Those who listen to their message experience a false sense of peace, continue in their sin, and seemingly live the "good life" now. They, however, will die in their sins and be separated from God for all eternity.
Unfortunately, throughout history false prophets seem to outnumber God's anointed prophets.
  • God's anointed prophets prophesy because they can't do otherwise. Their message, however, puts man on trial for his deeds and transgressions. They speak of coming judgment and call sin by name. They promote the holiness of God and his redemption of mankind through the substitionary death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They call people to repentance. Theirs is a fiery message. They are never politically popular or correct but they are always Biblically faithful. They are mocked and mostly rejected for their message. They fear God, more than man. As a result of their proclamation those who listen accuse them of misrepresenting God and being full of hot air. Those who listen and heed their message discover genuine peace, joy, and redemption.
Man desires a God that they can live with, one who doesn't have standards, one who doesn't punish sin, and especially, one who doesn't require repentance. False prophets give man the God he wants. Their God, however, isn't the God of the Bible.

Fiery prophets, however, preach with broken hearts--broken over the marring effect sin has on former image bearers, over how men love darkness rather than light, over the coming outpouring of God's wrath upon unrepentant sinners and especially over the rejection of God's love, grace, and mercy extended to guilty sinners through Jesus Christ. God's anointed prophets give man the God who Is, the God of Scripture, the God who has revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. Man's turning point occurs when he relinquishes the God of false prophets and embraces the God Who Is.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:

Jeremiah 5:1-6:30
  • Who does the LORD hold responsible for the people's ignorance of the way of the LORD and His requirements?
  • What reasons does the LORD give Israel that should cause them to fear Him?
  • What has created the lack of hearing condition among His people?
  • What analogy does the LORD use to describe His relationship with Israel?
Jeremiah 13:1-27
  • What visual does Jeremiah use to demonstrate the LORD's love and purpose for his people and their response?
  • What does the use of this visual require of Jeremiah?
  • What should the LORD's pronouncements have done for Israel?
  • Why does Israel refuse to respond to the LORD's pronouncements?
Turning truth into prayer
Pray for your pastor. Pray that he will fear God more than man. Pray that the Word of God would be as fire in his heart. Pray that you, your family, and your church will heed the voice of the LORD through your pastor's proclamation of the Word of God.