False Prophets (Jeremiah 23-25)

I bought a fake Rolex from my friend Dmitri who drove a vehicle manufactured by Porshe–although, looking back it feels like calling it a “Porshe” was an exaggeration.  And while I in fact watched and cheered as Lloyd Bentsen delivered,  “I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy,” I was enamored with a winner’s take on life.  I remember coming downstairs and telling Dad, “It’s just very cool.  He says that money isn’t really the point.  He just uses money to keep score.”  Dad nodded and said, “Well, I use money to feed my family.”

Dad’s gets points for succinct condemnation of false prophets.  Jeremiah words found there way into some pretty compelling music.

“‘The Lord will roar from on high;

    he will thunder from his holy dwelling
    and roar mightily against his land.
He will shout like those who tread the grapes,
    shout against all who live on the earth.
The tumult will resound to the ends of the earth,
    for the Lord will bring charges against the nations;
he will bring judgment on all mankind
    and put the wicked to the sword,’” 

declares the Lord.

Jeremiah doesn’t provide much guidance here on how to tell when a prophesy is false.  He does provide the following rhetorical question from God, “‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?'”  Besides determining whether the words are like fire, how can we tell if a prophet is true or false?  Perhaps that is enough.  I can tell you after expressing my cotton-candy infatuation with Gordon Gekko style greed, my father’s words did indeed feel like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces.

And to be fair, here’s the hymn you’re probably humming.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

. . . .

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
While God is marching on.

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