TEXT: JEREMIAH 29:20-32
“Thus saith the Lord” has become a common tune in the mouths of many in our society. There are so many self-appointed prophets showcasing themselves and their ministries on radio, television and the social media. They use high sounding words, push people down under a purported anointing and are always quick to make prophetic declaration on every trending issues in the society. The most unfortunate fact of their life is that they have no knowledge of the God they claim to represent. They have, in turn, made their followers “twice children of hell”. These are impostors and deceivers in the world.
Today’s passage opens with the declaration of God’s displeasure and judgment against three impostors in Jeremiah’s day. Zedekiah, Ahab and Shemaiah arrogated to themselves the office of prophets that God never gave them. God declared them to be adulterers and liars, and placed a curse upon them in Israel for their hypocrisy and misleading utterances. These impostors had something in common; they were all involved in telling the people what they would like to hear.
This passage presents some salient lessons to us. First, God honours, supports and defends His faithful servants. Second, unregenerate minds cannot be used of God to liberate those in captivity. Third, we should be wary of ministers who preach only what people want to hear but avoid the bitter truth of God’s word. Fourth, God will definitely cut off the remembrance of impostors.
Faithfulness to God’s word will definitely draw criticisms and persecutions; but like Jeremiah, we must be resilient in our commitment to the truth. We are to rebuke sin and corruption but should not forget to spread the word of peace in the gospel of Christ to the society in a difficult time like this.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 CHRONICLES 9-11.
Rebellion in the house of God
- The divine verdict
a. The self styled prophet Shemaiah was accused of not only rebelling against the word of God but also teaching rebellion to others, v32.
b. Severe judgements that also affected his lineage was pronounced on him, v32.
c. Untimely death of all the male child that will be born to the family including his own untimely death were the evil verdict pronounced on him, v32.
d. This agrees with Matthew 5:19 where Jesus said “whosoever shall break one of these least commandments (on the sermon of the mount) and shall teach men so” shall be cut off from the “kingdom of heaven”.
e. Observe that his children who did not know the Lord will partake of the calamity even though they might not have been born by then. How wonderful is it to be truly saved and free from inherited curses!
- The defining villany
What really constituted what God called his rebellion against the Lord?
a. He presumptuously sent a message to people of God in the name of the Lord when God had not sent him, vv25,26.
b. His love for preeminence made him to hijack leadership authority of God’s appointed prophets, vv25,26.
c. He was calling the appointed ministers of God unprintable names, like “mad” people out of self inspired overzealousness, v26.
d. He was exercising the authority of a priest and judge, which God had not giving him, to dictate punishments and imprisonment of God sent servants in the name of the Lord, v26.
e. He was guilty of enviously instigating the people of God against His truly sent servants and their messages, v27.
f. He defiantly contradicted the clear word of God or prophesy of Jeremiah, the true servant of God, vv27,28.
g. He, using his communicational ability, successfully and convincingly carried along the naive people of God and gave them false hope by causing them “to trust in a lie”, vv28,31.
h. He lowered the standard of God’s word by speaking to please the people, telling them that captivity will be brief when the word of God said the opposite, vv28,31.
i. He deliberately and consciously justified what God did not approve in the name of the Lord, vv31,32.
Ponder to make sure that traits of rebellion are not in you or those that are your ministers you enjoy listening to
- The demanded virtues
a. It is easy to see the virtues that God demand from every child of God. Those virtues are diametrically opposed to rebellion and its “innocent tendencies.”
b. Presumption, pride and self are root causes even though they may be justified with the name of the Lord.
c. Meekness, humility, commitment to do the will of God, self crucifixion etc are virtues that God demanded from every true child of God. Jesus said, “learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls, Matthew 11:29.
Can you in your inward heart honestly claim that you are meek and lowly in heart?
The standard of God is not generational biased. The grace of God in the life of those who lived in the generation past will produce the same virtues in those who live in the modern time
I want the old time grace of meekness and humility of Christ to be made deeper in my heart
Let you word and your Spirit scan through my heart to expose and remove all tendencies towards rebellion in my heart
Take away all adoration and admiration that I have for rebellious ministers posing as servants of God
Pray for convictiom and repentance for all ministers that are already treading the path of rebellion in order to have large followership