Jeremiah 23 “We dare not become lazy and expect others to do our studying and thinking for us.” [B. Deffinbaugh] As we listen to Jeremiah’s words, we hear the newscasts of today, which “demonize what is right and celebrate what is wrong.” Our culture wants God’s love apart from the price paid on the cross. The people of Judah were uncomfortable with Jeremiah’s words of impending judgment for their sin. Jeremiah’s words fell upon deaf ears and sometimes landed him in stocks or a mud-filled cistern.
Jeremiah gave the people at least six ways to discern false prophets. We can learn from his words.
Observe and listen carefully. Do their words line up with God’s Word? Secondly, observe their lives and ask if they are consistent? Are they honoring God in word and deed? Thirdly, are they presenting false hopes? These countered Jeremiah’s words of judgment with ‘nothing bad will happen to you.’ Fifthly, they were in a hurry to deliver their message. Sixthly they claimed to hear God speaking, but if they had been in God’s inner circle; they would have heard the exact same words of impending Babylonian judgment due to their disobedience.
Fast forward to today. There are sheep in wolves’ clothing amongst us. We must also discern their character. Listen and look; observe their fruits; listen to the doctrine they teach.