A Tale of Two Prophets

Jeremiah 27 & 28 and Hebrews 5

In Jeremiah 27 & 28 we have a meeting of two prophets. It’s kind of like Good Prophet/Bad Prophet. One prophet, Jeremiah, was sent by God to warn the children of Judah that if they continue along the path they are on, things will not go well with them. In fact, it says that the Lord tells them in chapter 27:5 “I have made the earth, mankind, and the animals which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. And now I have handed all these lands over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have also given him the animals of the field to serve him.” They have had years to make a decision to change and they didn’t so now it’s time to pay the piper. Jeremiah also tells them that the vessels in the temple will be taken away to Babylon and they will remain there until God brings them back. Verse 22 says “They will be brought to Babylon and will be there until the day I visit them,” declares the Lord. “Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.” Now to be clear, Jeremiah is not just making up prophecies on his own. He just tells the people what God has told him to say.

At the same time that Jeremiah is explaining what is going to take place, a false prophet, Hananiah, arises. He is telling them things that are more pleasant for the people to hear. They do not have to change their evil ways, and they do not have to worry because God will not allow the Babylonians to take over and cart off their important vessels. So, Jeremiah and Hananiah have words and Jeremiah tells the people that they will know which prophet was sent from God by what happens.

Then there is a showdown in chapter 28: 15 & 16 “Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah: the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, I am going to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you spoke falsely against the Lord.’” Hananiah died in the seventh month of that year. God has a way of dealing with people who try to go against his Word and plans. They do not prosper. And in the end everything that Jeremiah prophesied happened.  

Hebrews 5 ties in so well because the writer of Hebrews is writing to the early Christians and explaining how much better they have it now and how Christianity is better than Judaism in so many ways. He explains that the priests were called by God back in the day, and Jesus was also called by God.  Hebrews 5:4-5 “And no one takes the honor for himself, but receives it when he is called by God, just as Aaron also was. So too, Christ did not glorify Himself in becoming a high priest, but it was He who said to Him, ‘You are My Son, Today I have fathered You.'” Jesus did not choose to be the Son of God, he did not ask for this job, in fact, Jesus prayed for God to deliver him from death but he obeyed the will of God and died on the cross. He lived a perfect life so that he could be our sacrifice and we can be forgiven for our sins. And those who accept and follow Jesus will receive eternal life.

Just like those listening to Jeremiah, the early Christians and us today, we become dull of hearing. Hebrews 5:14 sums it all up for us. “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil.” We need to constantly be aware that there is good and evil in the world, and we have to practice distinguishing between the two. It may not be popular and what the world wants to hear but as Paul said in Acts, “we have to obey God and not man.”

-Sherry Alcumbrack

Today’s Bible reading passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Jeremiah 27 & 28 and Hebrews 5

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