a false vision
Jeremiah 14:11-18 (JDV)
Jeremiah 14:11 Then Yahveh said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people.
Jeremiah 14:12 If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Instead, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”
Jeremiah 14:13 And I replied, “Oh no, Lord Yahveh! The prophets are telling them, ‘You won’t see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you lasting peace in this place.'”
Jeremiah 14:14 But Yahveh said to me, “These prophets are prophesying a lie in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds.
Jeremiah 14:15 “Therefore, this is what Yahveh says concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them, and who say, ‘There will never be sword or famine in this land.’ By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end.
Jeremiah 14:16 The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury them – they, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them.”
Jeremiah 14:17 You are to speak this word to them: Let my eyes overflow with tears; day and night may they not stop, because the virgin daughter of my people has been destroyed by a crushing blow, an extremely harsh wound.
Jeremiah 14:18 If I go out to the field, notice – those victims of the sword! If I enter the city, notice – those sick from famine! Because both prophet and priest travel to a land they do not know.
a false vision
In Jeremiah’s day, most of the prophets and priests were just trying to give people hope. They only had one song to sing, so they sang it all the time. It was a song about how God is good all the time, and he would never let his people suffer.
God is good – all the time. And sometimes his people suffer. If we don’t tell the whole story, we are telling a lie in God’s name. We are passing along a false vision.
What God wanted his prophets to do was call their people to see the devastation that the nation was facing, to cry over the loss that was coming. God wanted his people to mourn over their fate, and return to him in repentance. There is a time for a positive and encouraging message, but this was not such a time.
Jeremiah stood alone as the only prophet to give the minority report that God wanted his people to hear.
Lord, give us the courage to say what you want your people to hear – even if they do not want to hear it.