Jeremiah 14:14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.
Reading Jeremiah can be a real downer sometimes! He’s known as “the crying prophet” because of all the negative stuff he was given to communicate, but he also was given some marvelously encouraging Words. Here, God is using him to tell us that not everyone who uses God’s name, or that of His Son, is actually speaking from Him. Some people are very adept at using religious vocabulary to work all sorts of evil. My wife likes to listen to Don Moen’s Internet postings, but when she comments on them, she often gets smooth-talking responses from various characters that she immediately recognizes as scams, even though they are claiming to be “touched by her faith.” That just means they think she’ll believe their lies! The world is full of deceptions of many sorts, and we need the discernment the Holy Spirit gives us to see through them. One very hopeful thing about the current situation in the US is how many deceptions are being uncovered and exposed. There are so many it can be depressing, but the fact that the truth is coming out is very good. Honest people can sometimes be very gullible because they can’t imagine that someone would be out to deceive them, but sadly there are many who follow the father of lies. (John 8:44) When something sound too good to be true, often it isn’t true. The exception is indeed the Gospel, because in spite of ourselves God loved us enough to send His Son to take the penalty for our sins on Himself, to give us eternal life instead of the death we deserved. (John 3:16-17) When we are grounded in that eternal truth it becomes much easier to see through and stand against the lies of the devil.
Naturally, I need to be as careful as anyone. I was raised on a standard of absolute honesty, but I recognize my own ability to lie and that gives me an awareness of the lies of others. I am not to be mistrusting of everyone and everything. Not only does that greatly impede relationships, it’s a pretty miserable way to live! However, I am to ask the Holy Spirit to be the filter on my ears and heart, as well as my eyes. As the Spirit of God, who is Truth, He can sort it all out. Likewise, I am to submit everything I say to Him, so that I won’t be speaking falsehood in any way. When I don’t know something, I am to be up front about that and not make stuff up. After all, I’ll have to answer for every careless word I say. (Matthew 12:36) I must be careful not to put myself into the category of the false prophets in this verse.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You indeed for how so many lies are being uncovered. I ask Your mercy on those who perpetrated them. We need a spirit of repentance! May I be a consistent agent of Your truth, so that people may be set free to repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!