Comment: For this passage of scripture, that is for Jer 23:9-40, we will not follow the normal order of verses but rather, we will combine verses according to the message. Some verses will be combined with other verses that carry the same theme.
- Our responsibility against false prophets
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. ……..
Word Study: The word “listen” is translated from a word that means to pay attention. It has been used several times in the Old Testament and mostly used to mean not only to pay attention and hear but also to obey. The word “vain” means empty.
Comment: God through Jeremiah warns us that we should not pay attention to what is being said by these false prophets and not only that but we should also not obey it. God also tells us that what ever hope these false prophets is giving us, it is empty hope.
Message: Nothing has changed since the time of Jeremiah. We are still experiencing false prophets, priests, pastors, apostles, men of god, etc and these are still giving people false hopes. Hopes of being delivered, hopes of breakthroughs, hopes of being healed, etc. The unfortunate part about this is that, people do pay attention and obey these false prophets contrary to what God has told us.
- God is always present
23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart,
Word Study: The word “deceit” means to do something underhandedly with evil or trickery in mind.
Comment: God indicates here that He is not a God who is far away that He cannot hear the lies that the false prophets are saying. God tells us that He is a God that is very near us and everywhere. Because God is very near and everywhere, He can hear the lies spoken by false prophets who claim to have had a vision. The lies that are spoken cannot be hidden from Him. The hearts of these prophets which God can see is full of lies and they prophesy with evil intent in order to trick people into believing their lies. God sees all this. Nothings happens anywhere on earth and heaven that God does not see or hear.
Message: If these prophets thought that God is not watching or somehow they are able to continue to prophesy lies in secret so that God does not see, then they are wrong. God could see them then and can see them now. God knew their hearts then and He knows their hearts now.
- God’s word will triumph over falsehood
28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Word Study: A straw is a chopped stem of the grain. The word straw is likened to chaff in Job 21:18. Chaff is generally what is used to refer to the wicked who must be separated from the righteous and burned.
Comment: God says here that we are to allow those that prophesy false visions continue to do that and those that speak His word faithfully must also do so. God indicates here that the false visions spoken off by false prophets will be defeated by the true word of God. God says this is because His true word is like fire that burns off the straw or chaff, His true word is like a hammer that breaks the rock into pieces. In this, the false words of the prophets are likened to the chaff that is burned and the rock that is broken into pieces.
Message: God is simply saying to us that although these false prophets, priests, pastors, apostles, men of god, etc exist and continue to prophesy lies, let those of us who preach His true word faithfully, continue to preach it. In the end, the true word of God will win. False prophets will be defeated through and by the faithful preaching of the true word of God.