Dream On

Scripture: Jeremiah 23:23-29

Key Verse: Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the LORD. (verse 28)

Observation: False prophets have risen in opposition to the word God has spoken to Jeremiah. These prophets claim to have had dreams given to them by God but their dreams do not line up with God’s word. God speaks through Jeremiah to ask the people, particularly these false prophets, about God’s ability to identify and call out these false prophets. Jeremiah relays the message that God fills both heaven and earth. There isn’t any place in creation that is secret or hidden from God. God is far off and has an unobstructed view of all that is going on in all of creation. The deceitfulness of the false prophets may fool the people and draw the people away to false gods, but God is not fooled. God will raise up prophets like Jeremiah who will speak God’s word faithfully while the dreamers deal in dreams. The days are numbered for the lying prophets driven by the desires of their hearts. Just as no one would mistake straw for wheat, no one can mistake God’s word for the dreams of these corrupt prophets. God’s word will ultimately triumph over these so called dreams.

Analysis: There are many voices who are claiming to speak for God in our world today. In the United States, some are proudly proclaiming a gospel that makes it possible to use power and possessions to “win souls for Christ.” There are those who stand firm on the notion that forcing compliance through dominance is being true to God’s command to love one another. However, God doesn’t force but rather invites people to embrace and live according to God’s word. God doesn’t browbeat or strongarm the people into following Jeremiah, instead God leaves the people free to choose between the two. Although, there really isn’t much of a choice. No one looking for something to eat is choosing straw over wheat. No one who wants to experience true life is choosing the false prophet over the messenger of the word of God. We are invited to examine what is going on around us and see the results of the dreams of those who covet power over relationship and possessions over justice and determine for ourselves whether or not these dreams align with God’s word. If it is not clear to us now, it soon will be. The schemes and plans of the dreamers will be devoured in God’s purifying fire or smashed under the weight of God’s righteous hammer of justice. If anyone thinks their deceitful plans to mislead God’s people will succeed, dream on.

Prayer: Merciful God, we continue to show our arrogance and ignorance when we attempt to use the gifts you have given us for our own personal gain. Moreover, we test the limits of your mercy by leading others astray so that we might gain power, possessions, and wealth. Forgive us and free us so that we understand that only what is done according to your will and rooted in your word will stand. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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