Fired Up Prophets

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 30

When God calls Jeremiah, He puts His words in Jeremiah’s mouth, and they burn like fire. The false prophets, however, produce only wind, “‘And the prophets become wind, for the word is not in them. Thus it shall done to them.’ Therefore thus says LORD God of hosts: ‘Because you speak this word, behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them’” (Jer. 5:13-14).

There have always been two types of prophets:

  • False prophets prophesy for fame, money, prestige and popularity.

They tell the people what they want to hear. They misrepresent the LORD and pronounce blessing on what God curses (dignify sin) and curse what God blesses (Creationism, the inerrant Word of God, etc.). False prophets fill the pulpits of many churches today. Liberal media have no problem finding and interviewing prophets who agree with them. Those who listen to their message experience a false sense of peace, continue in their sin, and seemingly live the “good life” now; however, they will die in their sins and be separated from God for all eternity. Unfortunately, throughout history false prophets seem to have outnumbered God’s anointed prophets.

  • God’s anointed prophets prophesy because they can’t do otherwise. Their message, however, puts man on trial for his deeds and transgressions. They speak of coming judgment and call sin by name.

They promote the holiness of God and His redemption of humanity through the substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They call people to repentance. Theirs is a fiery message. They are never politically popular or correct, but they are always biblically faithful. They are mocked and mostly rejected for their message. They fear God more than man. As a result of their proclamation, those who listen accuse them of misrepresenting God and being full of hot air. Those who listen and heed their message discover genuine peace, joy, and redemption.

Man desires a God that he can live with, who doesn’t have standards or interfere, who doesn’t punish sin, and, especially, who doesn’t require repentance. False prophets give man the God he wants. Their god, however, isn’t the God of the Bible.

Fiery prophets, by comparison, preach with broken hearts—broken over the marring effect sin has had on former image-bearers, over how men love darkness rather than light, over the coming outpouring of God’s wrath upon unrepentant sinners, and especially over the rejection of God’s love, grace, and mercy extended to guilty sinners through Jesus Christ. God’s anointed prophets give man the God who Is, the God of Scripture, the God who has revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. Man’s turning point occurs when he relinquishes the God of false prophets and embraces the God Who Is.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Jer. 2:23-37; 3; 4; 5:1-19):
What analogy does Jeremiah use to describe Israel’s relationship with God? To what lengths does the LORD go to persuade Israel to return to Him? What does this reveal about God and His activity?
What would “returning to the LORD” require of Judah?
How does the warning of imminent judgment impact Jeremiah? What does this reveal about those who understand the seriousness of sin and the judgment of God?