In every age, it is of utmost importance that God’s people are able to recognize and follow His voice. This passage from Jeremiah chastises the false prophets who spoke during his time as well, as they told the people they would be taken into exile, but they would come out quickly. Jeremiah, on the other hand, warned the people they would be taken into exile and it would last for 70 years.
Do we listen to real or false prophets in our day? Are we swayed by what we want to hear? Or do we struggle to find which voice is God and to understand what He is trying to tell us? This is a time of turmoil and strife around our entire world. Many people feel as if they are being misled and scattered by the insecurity they experience every day, due to this confusion and mayhem.
The word “prophet” means, “one who speaks for another,” and the “other” was always God. The prophets did not speak of their own volition rather they were willing, or unwilling, as in Jeremiah’s case, to speak the word of God, even if it was not what the people wanted to hear. And in this passage, God was warning the false prophets, whose intent was to mislead and scatter the people, that they would experience woe, or affliction and anguish.
To whom do you listen? How do you separate out who is the false prophet and the one speaking for God? This requires discernment, which in turn, requires us to pause, pray and ask God to speak to us so we will know His will and His desire for our lives. This will require that we accept God’s grace to help us respond positively to His voice in our hearts and heads.
Kate Walsh Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Stillwater. She works at Christian Heart Counseling at 275 Third St. South and can be reached at email@example.com or 651-439-2059 ext. 718.