Summary: When the people of Judah and Jerusalem were in exile in Babylon there were false prophets who professed to be speaking for the Lord but they were just telling the people what they wanted to hear. These false prophets exist today. Warn your people!
Jeremiah 29:8-9, 15-23 (Ask the people to look up this passage as you make a few comments)
Last Sunday we took a look at the part of this letter that pertained to the Jews who were taken into from Judah and Jerusalem.
In this letter from Jeremiah they were told to settle down in the cities where they were placed by the Babylonians. They were to build houses, plant gardens, marry and increase in number and to pray for the city in which they lived.
They were also told that after seventy years they would cry out to the Lord and He would take them back to Jerusalem where they would live in obedience to and in harmony with the Lord.
Included in this letter is another message to the self-proclaimed prophets of the Lord who were really no prophets at all. This is not a kind and gentle message.
Please follow along in your Bibles as we read from Jeremiah 29 starting with verse 8 …
(Bring out points to be considered as you read through)
OK. So let’s back up to verses 8 and 9 …
Jeremiah 29:8-9 NIV
“Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in My name. I have not sent them,' declares the Lord.”
This is how the NKJV translates it …
Jeremiah 29:8-9 NKJV
“For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord.”
During the time before the exile the inhabitants of Judea had forsaken the Lord and worshiped Him in name only. Look at how these prophets are described:
Spouting your dreams
Prophesying falsely to you
The LORD hates false prophets.
The LORD hates those who say what they know people want to hear instead of what people need to hear.
We can clearly see this in the rest of this Bible reading:
The LORD is angry with a righteous anger with the false prophets who have gone into exile.
Why is the LORD angry with them?
The people of Israel were the LORD’s chosen nation!
They were supposed to ACT like the LORD’s chosen nation!
Instead they wanted to act like the pagan nations around them!
Just look at the people chosen by the LORD and how they behaved after they left Egypt!
They had seen the awesome hand of God delivering, protecting, guiding and feeding them in the few short months after Egypt
Water turned to blood
Thunder and Hail
Death of the First Born
The pillaging of the Egyptians
The protection of the LORD on the shore of the Red Sea
The miraculous crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites
The destruction of the Egyptian army by the LORD in the Red Sea
The purification of the Waters of Marah
The manna from the LORD for food
The LORD gives water from the rock
The defeat of the Amalekites
Three months after they leave Egypt they are at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Moses makes several trips up the mountain to talk with the LORD.
On one trip Moses and his helper, Joshua, are up there for forty days and forty nights getting not only the Ten Commandments but also a lot of information about the Tabernacle and civil law.
Now, remember, it’s only been a few months since the Israelites have seen the mighty hand of the LORD delivering them from bondage.
So they say to Aaron, “Make us a god to lead us. As for this Moses, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
Now, Aaron has a choice to make …
1) The LORD is our God! Remember how the LORD brought us out of Egypt …
or he can say …
2) OK. Bring me your gold and silver and I’ll make you a god …
Now, as we think about the choice that Aaron made let's return to Jeremiah ...
Jeremiah 29:8 NKJV
“For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.”
People: “Aaron, make us a god …”
Just a couple of chapters back the people are saying to Moses, “We will do all that the LORD commands …”
The LORD is mighty and true and worthy of all praise … and … beyond all reason He is forgiving of the most heinous of sins.