False prophets and "lost" priests were Jeremiah's greatest challenge. While Jeremiah preached of approaching captivity and judgment they spoke of peace and while Jeremiah's words were like a hammer their words cast a sleepy spell, like a lullaby sung to a fretting child. While Jeremiah received his message from the LORD they "steal from one another words supposedly from me" (verse 30). Had they been able, they would have downloaded their message off the Internet, like many preachers do today. How our generation need preachers whose "words are like fire" and like "a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces!"
Today's reading describes false prophets and the result of their preaching. They:
- Lead people away from God
- Live in sin (commit adultery, lie, etc.)
- Preach peace to those whose captivity is just around the corner
- Don't preach against sin
- Distort the Word of God
- Fill people with false hope
- Promise the blessing of God on those who live in sin and rebellion
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
- What affect does the Lord's prophecy regarding the prophets have on Jeremiah?
- How are the prophets of Samaria and Jerusalem described?
- See Deuteronomy 13:1-5. How do true and false prophets differ?
- Why does God make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water? What does this tell you about God?
- Ultimately, why do the people listen to the false prophets? (verse 17)
- How does today's reading apply to the influence of those behind the pulpit today?
- How does God describe Himself? (verses 23-24)
- What is the source and the purpose of the prophet's dreams?
- How do the prophets validate their message?
- What visual does God command Jeremiah to use? What kind of response does this require of Jeremiah?
- What is the Lord's message to the foreign kings? How much power do king's have?
- How long does the Lord say that Nebuchadnezzar will reign?
- What does God promise to the kings who serve the king of Babylon?
- What do the false prophets promise the people regarding those in exile and articles of the temple?
- Why does Jeremiah respond publicly to Hananiah?
- Why does Hananiah experience a premature death?
- Why does the Lord judge those prophesying or preaching in His name so harshly?
Pray that God would expose the false prophets in our day. Pray for your pastor, that he will be as bold and fearless in his preaching as was Jeremiah. Pray that He will be a man who stands in the council of God.