Tuesday, June 23, 2020

June 23 – Tuesday prior to Proper 8

Jeremiah 28:5-9 – A true prophet is one whose message is fulfilled. One day two preachers were speaking in the temple. They contradicted each other and yet both claimed to be prophets. Whom were the people to believe? One says God will send peace; the other promises trouble. Jeremiah gives the acid test: the true prophet is one whose preaching comes true. So, we have to wait and see who is right.

Here we find God’s bad news (verses 5-8).  Most think God has only good news for us. According to this lesson, God has both good and bad news. For the rebellious and disobedient there is bad news – judgment, war, famine, and death. King Ahab referred to Elijah as “you troubler of Israel,” and “my enemy.” 

Jeremiah’s response was marked by restraint. Nothing would have please him more than to affirm the prediction of an immediate deliverance of the people he loved so dearly.

Micah had bad news of defeat for the kings about to go to war. To say peace because people want to hear it is to be faithless to God who brings judgment upon a sinful people.

Which do you prefer, to be liked or respected?

The false prophets of Jeremiah's day prophesied by other gods such as Baal, the god of sex and success (Jeremiah 23:13). These prophets keep saying "Don't worry! Everything's going to be fine! (Jeremiah 23:17) But they have drummed up their own "prosperity preaching" and none of them has ever been in on the LORD's own council. (Jeremiah 23:18, 21-22) Their words are smooth, sweet, comforting. "But my word," says the prophet speaking in the name of the LORD, "is like fire, like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces!" (Jeremiah 23:29)

These are difficult words. They were difficult for Jeremiah. They challenge us today. May the Lord give us the strength to speak the truth of God’s word when the message is welcomed and courage even if it is not received.
Almighty and everlasting God, You would have all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. By Your almighty power and unsearchable wisdom break and hinder all the counsels of those who hate Your Word and who, by corrupt teaching, would destroy it. Enlighten them with the knowledge of Your glory that they may know the riches of Your heavenly grace and, in peace and righteousness, serve You the only true God; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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