Jeremiah 23:1-17

Jun 6, 2024    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.’” (Jeremiah 23:16, ESV)


Jeremiah lived in a time when people called good evil and evil good. The people thought they could trust the shepherds and prophets to tell them the truth and lead them in the right way. But the shepherds (leaders) scattered the flock and did not attend to them. The prophets committed adultery and prophesied lies. They said, “You shall have peace.” And to everyone who stubbornly followed their own hearts, they said, “No disaster shall come upon you.” But the truth was that God was bringing disaster on them because of their disobedience and idolatry. Therefore, God warned them not to listen to the prophets who prophesied lies and filled the people with false hope.


We also live in a time when people are calling good evil and evil good. In our culture people glory in their shame. And whoever stands up for biblical and moral truth is considered a self-righteous bigot. People think they can live however they want without consequences or recompense. There is no fear of God before their eyes.


When Jeremiah saw the wickedness around him, his heart was broken, and he became like a drunken man. Jeremiah, like Jesus, wept over Jerusalem. But while all the other prophets despised Jeremiah and spoke against him, God upheld him so that all of his words came to pass.


Likewise, we are called to stand strong in this perverse generation. Others may despise us and speak evil of us. They may shun us and falsely accuse us. But if we will stand up for Jesus Christ and uphold His words, then He will be our defense.


“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32–33, ESV)