“PEACE, PEACE …”
Dear God, in the midst of a driven world, teach me how to possess the serenity I yearn for, the peace of heart and mind I desire.
Read JEREMIAH 14
Drought, Famine, Sword
14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 “Judah mourns,
her cities languish;
they wail for the land,
and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
3 The nobles send their servants for water;
they go to the cisterns
but find no water.
They return with their jars unfilled;
dismayed and despairing,
they cover their heads.
4 The ground is cracked
because there is no rain in the land;
the farmers are dismayed
and cover their heads.
5 Even the doe in the field
deserts her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights
and pant like jackals;
their eyes fail
for lack of food.”
7 Although our sins testify against us,
do something, Lord, for the sake of your name.
For we have often rebelled;
we have sinned against you.
8 You who are the hope of Israel,
its Savior in times of distress,
why are you like a stranger in the land,
like a traveler who stays only a night?
9 Why are you like a man taken by surprise,
like a warrior powerless to save?
You are among us, Lord,
and we bear your name;
do not forsake us!
10 This is what the Lord says about this people:
“They greatly love to wander;
they do not restrain their feet.
So the Lord does not accept them;
he will now remember their wickedness
and punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”
13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”
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[a] and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.
17 “Speak this word to them:
“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears
night and day without ceasing;
for the Virgin Daughter, my people,
has suffered a grievous wound,
a crushing blow.
18 If I go into the country,
I see those slain by the sword;
if I go into the city,
I see the ravages of famine.
Both prophet and priest
have gone to a land they know not.’”
19 Have you rejected Judah completely?
Do you despise Zion?
Why have you afflicted us
so that we cannot be healed?
We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,
and the guilt of our ancestors;
we have indeed sinned against you.
21 For the sake of your name do not despise us;
do not dishonor your glorious throne.
Remember your covenant with us
and do not break it.
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.
- Jeremiah 14:14 Or visions, worthless divinations
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever been hoodwinked into thinking all was well when it wasn’t? How did that make you feel?
Warnings against false prophets and teachers is a recurring theme throughout Scripture. It is also a recurring theme for Jeremiah. Here in chapter 14, he tells God how hard it is for him to convey the message of judgment because other prophets keep telling the people, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place’ (v 13).
God is clear that these prophets are speaking lies and that he did not send or appoint them (v 14). It is hard for Jeremiah to be a lone voice speaking truth from God. This is part of the challenge of his calling.
How do we discern the voice of God today, in among the myriad of voices clamoring for our attention? The New Testament warns us that there will be false teachers within the church (for example, Acts 20:28–31). We need to keep reading the Bible and asking the Holy Spirit to show us the truth. We need to pray for those who teach the Bible, that they will be faithful to God’s message.
God’s message is tough but clear. The people do not want to hear it and they have plenty of people around them telling them ‘what their itching ears want to hear’ (2 Timothy 4:3).
Where are those things that would distract you from hearing God’s voice, especially when his message is tough and challenging? How will you fight against them?
Lord, support me all the day long through the valley of this life. Grant me safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last.
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