Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday August 18: Jeremiah 14-17 ~Cameron

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Jeremiah 14-17

Chapter 14:13-16 caught my eye.

Jeremiah, as with any of the prophets, had a tough gig. Bringing news of coming judgement is not a way to popularity. Being one of the few delivering a message of doom when other "prophets" are proclaiming peace would definitely increase the feeling of isolation. But God is not deceived and Jeremiah proclaims a severe judgement on those claiming to be speaking for God but are without substance.

While the message of peace is nice, the people of Israel and Judah knew their scriptures well. I wonder if at least a few of them paused from drinking in the warm and fuzzy feelings these "prophets" were serving and reflected on how little scripture backing these prophesies had. Then again, I wonder how many of us test the messages served to believers today. In my experience it is a frightfully low percentage and that apathetic attitude hurts the Church.

Placebo messages are common today too. They don't have substance but they still make people feel good. Pastors give messages intended to grease the wallets of the congregation so tithes flow more freely. Teachers shift the interpretation of the Word to make their message more palatable. And we see congregations empower these individuals or groups because it is the easiest path to take.

The "prophets" in this passage are not giving a message from God. But that does not mean those who heard them and did nothing are not still guilty. Rather, each message must be tested thoroughly. For prophetic predictions, the test is easy: did the event occur or not. Other messages require more examination.

This doesn't mean starting a confrontation every time a point comes up that you disagree with. What it means is that each of us must accept responsibility for the integrity of our faith and our eternal destination. It means reflecting on what is being taught, understanding the message, comparing it to scripture, being sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and discussing it with others. Rarely are we called to be alone in our faith. Being able to discuss messages honestly ensures we don't delude ourselves, becoming the very thing we wish to avoid. But if you are ever called to confront someone on their message or teaching, do it in love with the goal of clarification and restoration.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJeremiah 18, 35, 49:1-33


Nathan Reimer said...

Good points, we need to be honest and follow what God wants, changing where we need to change and not fooling ourselves into thinking that what we're doing is OK when it's not. Honestly read and follow the scriptures

Tammy Reimer said...

It definitely seems as though most people just trust that whatever a pastor preaches, or a self-identified Christian author writes, is gospel truth. We must compare any teaching with the Word of God - and if it does not line up with His truth, we must reject it, no matter much we may want it to be true. There are a lot of false teachers out there, and sadly, there are even more Christians who fall for it.