Saturday, February 21, 2015

Listen To The Right One

Few people read the book of Lamentations, probably because of its depressing tone. In this book, the prophet Jeremiah glumly mourns over the destruction of Jerusalem at the time of the Babylonian Captivity.

Jeremiah had begged Judah to escape this ghastly judgment of God, beseeching them to obey God's Word rather than the lies of false prophets (see Jeremiah 29:8-9), but Judah preferred to follow leaders and prophets who corrupted God's Word by mingling devotion to Him with idolatry. As God finally executed the judgment that He had warned of through Isaiah, Jeremiah and other true prophets, Jeremiah wept bitterly over how false prophets and corrupt priests had misled the people.
14 Your prophets have seen for you
    false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity
    to restore your fortunes,
but have seen for you oracles
    that are false and misleading. ~~Lamentations 2:14 (ESV)
 Jeremiah's words remind me of all the professing Christians who haven't learned from the mistakes and sins of Israel and Judah. Like them, we prefer false teachers to the truth of Scripture, and we open ourselves to the practices of the world.  We won't tolerate talk of repentance or hell, much preferring sermons about blessings and God whispering sweet nothings in our ears.

I don't know how God will judge professing Christians, but I  believe we would be wise to pay attention to Judah's missteps. The Lord has shown grace to us just as He showed grace to the ancient Hebrews, and we mustn't abuse His grace as they did. He has given us even fuller revelation than He gave them, and (unless we are  false converts) His Spirit empowers us to live in obedience. I praise Him for books like Lamentations that encourage us to shun false prophets in favor of His Word.

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