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Archive for April 5th, 2009

Jeremiah 21-23

 

I learned a valuable lesson not too long ago when reading the book of Ezekiel.  Due to a hardship that had come my way, I had struggled with whether or not that hardship was God’s punishment or more of a refining.  I had concluded that it was a refining. 

 

As I would soon find out, it was a fragile conclusion.  In Ezekiel 13 he warns of ‘the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing’.  Later he warns against those ‘who prophesy out of their own imagination’.  Satan had fun with that.  Had my hope been a result of my own imagination?  Was I doomed and just didn’t want to admit it or would God see me through no matter what hell or life threw at me?  Was it false hope or real assurance?

 

What the Lord showed me as a result of that little skirmish has become a defining and pivotal point in my effort to determine whose voice I am hearing when thoughts come to mind.  The people in Ezekiel’s day were living like hell but still trying to claim the promises of God.  Prophets were proclaiming they were entitled to them.   Basically it is this; if you are living like hell, God’s word to you will not be about promise; rather it will be about repentance.  Conversely, if you are right with Him and hear promise, you can be assured of it. 

 

The same thing was going on here with Jeremiah.  First, trouble on a grand scale had set in.  As a result, a hellish group of people say, ‘Inquire now of the Lord’; ‘perhaps He will work wonders for us as in times past’.  The prophets were prophesying, filling them with false hope.  To those who were following the stubbornness of their evil hearts, they were saying, ‘no harm will come to you’.  By this false message, ‘they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness’.

 

The question God puts before the people is this, ‘But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear His word?  Who has listened and heard His word’?  And again He says, ‘But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways.’

 

He concludes with this thought; ‘Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully’.  And now I conclude; critical that we stand in His council that we may, first, hear His words and then that we speak them faithfully.    

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