updating the promise
Jeremiah 28:1-17 (JDV)
Jeremiah 28:1 It happened in that year, at the first of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur from Gibeon said to me in the temple of Yahveh in the presence of the priests and all the people,
Jeremiah 28:2 “This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jeremiah 28:3 Within two years I will restore to this place all the articles of Yahveh’s temple that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from here and transported to Babylon.
Jeremiah 28:4 And I will restore to this place Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles from Judah who went to Babylon’ – this is what Yahveh declares – ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'”
Jeremiah 28:5 The prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the temple of Yahveh.
Jeremiah 28:6 The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May Yahveh do that. May Yahveh make the words you have prophesied come true and may he restore the articles of Yahveh’s temple and all the exiles from Babylon to this place!
Jeremiah 28:7 Only listen to this message I am speaking in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people.
Jeremiah 28:8 The prophets who preceded you and me from long ago prophesied war, disaster, and plague against many lands and great kingdoms.
Jeremiah 28:9 As for the prophet who prophesies peace – only when the word of the prophet comes true will the prophet be recognized as one Yahveh has truly sent.”
Jeremiah 28:10 The prophet Hananiah then took the choker from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it.
Jeremiah 28:11 In the presence of all the people Hananiah proclaimed, “This is what Yahveh says: ‘In this way, within two years I will break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from the neck of all the nations.'” The prophet Jeremiah then went on his way.
Jeremiah 28:12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the choker from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of Yahveh came to Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 28:13 “Go say to Hananiah, ‘This is what Yahveh says: You broke a wooden choker, but in its place you will make an iron choker.
Jeremiah 28:14 You see, this is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I have put an iron yoke on the neck of all these nations that they might serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and they will serve him. I have even put the wild animals under him.'”
Jeremiah 28:15 The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! Yahveh did not send you, but you have led these people to trust in a lie.
Jeremiah 28:16 Therefore, this is what Yahveh says: ‘I am about to send you off the face of the land. You will die this year because you have preached rebellion against Yahveh.'”
Jeremiah 28:17 And the prophet Hananiah died that year in the seventh month.
updating the promise
How Jeremiah wanted to believe that his people would have relief from their oppression. He wanted Hananiah’s prophecy to be true, but it was not. He wanted the yoke of slavery to be broken. But the time was not right. Hananiah had “updated” the promise so that the people could have hope for relief within two years. In other words – he lied. God held him responsible for that lie. He died in exile within the year.
God would eventually break the yoke, but it did the people no good to proclaim to them that now was the time. Likewise, we do the people of God no service, and we do not honor the LORD when we insist on preaching nothing but the positive and encouraging. The whole word of God includes the fact that he judges sin, even in his own house.
LORD, we trust you, and we will wait for your deliverance. We will resist the temptation to add to what you have promised.