The visions of your prophets were empty and deceptive; they did not expose your guilt to ward off your captivity. The burdens they envisioned for you were empty and misleading.
I. WHAT THE PROPHET OUGHT TO BE. The prophet of those times was a man bound to say things having depth and substance in them. And though the prophet has ceased, so far as formal office is concerned, yet there are still Divine things to be seen, and, when seen, spoken about by those qualified to speak. There are the deep things of God to be penetrated and explored by those willing to receive the insight. The Holy Spirit of God, offered so abundantly through Christ, is a Spirit of prophecy to all who have it. They need no formal prophet, inasmuch as they have a word, living and piercing, to all who take a right relation towards it. God means us to be occupied with serious, substantial matters, so large and deep and fruitful that we shall never outgrow our interest in them. The heart of man in its meditating power was made for great themes. The heart can never be filled with mere trifles. That is good advice given to preachers of the gospel to speak most on the greatest themes, such as are set forth again and again in the Scriptures, and, whether these things be preached about or not, every individual Christian should think about them. For while we cannot secure the topics of preachers, the topics of our own thoughts depend upon ourselves. It is just those who concern themselves a great deal about dogmas who are also most interested in the details of life and conduct.
II. WHAT THE PROPHET MAY SINK TO BE. These prophets felt bound to magnify their office and say something. They ought to have spoken the truth; but for this they lacked inclination and perhaps courage. The next best thing would have been to remain silent; but then where would the prophet reputation have been? and, more serious question still with some, what would have become of the prophet emoluments? Hence we have here the double iniquity that the false was spoken and the true conceded. The prophets could only get credit for their falsehoods by a careful concealment of the truth. They had, as it were, to paste on truth a conspicuous label, proclaiming far and wide, "This is a lie." This verse suggests how they had the common experience of one lie leading on to another. The true prophet said that the burden Israel had to bear and the exile into which it had to go arose from its iniquities. Whereas the false, or rather the unfaithful prophet, having set iniquity as the cause of trouble altogether on one side, could only go on inventing explanations which explained nothing. Ezekiel 13. is a chapter which may very profitably be read in connection with this verse. The great lesson is to search for truth no matter with what toil, and keep it no matter at what cost. - Y.
Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee.Savonarola accusing Lorenzo de Medici, or John Knox preaching at the court of Mary Stuart. He is Isaiah declaring God's abomination of sacrifices and incense when these are offered by blood-stained hands, or seizing the opportunity that followed the mutilation of the imperial statues at Antioch to preach to the dissolute city on the need of repentance, or Latimer denouncing the sins of London to the citizens assembled at Paul's Cross. The shallow optimism that disregards the shadows of life is trebly faulty when it appears in the pulpit. It falsifies facts in failing to take account of the stern realities of the evil side of them; it misses the grand opportunity of rousing the consciences of men and women by forcing them to attend to unwelcome truths, and thus encourages the heedlessness with which people rush headlong to ruin; and at the same time it even renders the declaration of the gracious truths of the Gospel, to which it devotes exclusive attention, ineffectual, because redemption is meaningless to those who do not recognise the present slavery and the future doom from which it brings deliverance.
(W. F. Adeney, W. A.)
2. They that refuse to receive the true ministers, God will give them over to be seduced by false teachers and to believe lies (2 Chronicles 36:15; Proverbs 1:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
3. It is a certain note of a false prophet, to speak such things in the name of the Lord as are untrue, or misalleged to please the carnal desires of the people (Jeremiah 14:13-15).
4. It is not sufficient for a true minister not to flatter; he must also discover the people's sins unto them (Ezekiel 13:4; 1 Kings 18:18; Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:8; Matthew 14:4).
5. The only way to avoid God's plagues is gladly to suffer ourselves bitterly to be reproved by God's ministers.
6. The falsehood that is taught by false prophets, and believed by a seduced people, is the cause of all God's punishments that light upon them.
(Footsteps of Truth.)
TopicsFALSE, Bring, Burdens, Captivity, Causes, Changed, Clear, Deceptive, Delusion, Discovered, Driving, Expose, Exposed, Expulsion, Falsehood, Fate, Folly, Foolish, Fortunes, Iniquity, Insipid, Misleading, Oracles, Prophesied, Prophets, Restore, Revealed, Seduction, Sin, Turn, Uncovered, Vain, Vanity, Visions, Ward, Worthless
Outline1. Jeremiah laments the misery of Jerusalem
20. He complains thereof to God
Dictionary of Bible ThemesLamentations 2:14
"Ye virgin souls, arise! With all the dead awake; Unto salvation wise; Oil in your vessels take: Upstarting at the MIDNIGHT CRY, Behold Your heavenly bridegroom nigh." Two brethren then offered prayer for the Church and the World, that the new year might be clothed with glory by the spread of the knowledge of Jesus.--Then followed the EXPOSITION Psalm 90:1-22 "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Yea Jehovah, WE, they children, can say that thou hast been our home, our safe …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856
Chel. The Court of the Women.
Appendix ix. List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings
Departure from Ireland. Death and Burial at Clairvaux.
That the Ruler Should be Discreet in Keeping Silence, Profitable in Speech.
Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
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