March 15, 2024


Jeremiah 23:23-29 - “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another.


In this passage from Jeremiah, God confronts the false prophets who are prophesying lies and leading the people astray. He declares that He sees and knows all things, so these prophets cannot hide their lies and deception from Him. Though they claim prophetic dreams and visions, God says their words are worthless because they come from their own imaginations and deceitful hearts. They falsely use God's name to authenticate their messages. Their goal is to make the people forget about the true God and follow idols like Baal instead. God commands that true prophets should faithfully speak His word, which is like fire and can break hard hearts. But these false prophets are just stealing words from each other and peddling their own dreams. Their messages are like worthless straw and chaff, lacking any substance, truth or life-changing power. Because of this, God declares that He stands against these lying prophets who are misleading His people. Though for a time He allows them to operate, their judgment is coming.


This passage speaks powerfully to us today about the vital importance of judging any teaching by the truth of God's Word. Just because someone claims to speak for God does not mean their message aligns with Scripture. We must be like the Bereans who examined the apostles' teaching to see if it matched what God had already revealed (Acts 17:11). It can be tempting to chase after spiritual experiences, mystical visions, ecstatic utterances, and subjective leadings of all kinds. Yet the tried and true litmus test for truth must remain the Scriptures. God's Word is the fire and hammer that shatters lies and deception. It alone has the power to transform hearts and minds. It alone is utterly trustworthy and faithful. We must pray for wisdom and discernment any time we listen to teaching that claims to be from God. If it contradicts or twists the clear message of Scripture, we can know for certain it does not come from the Holy Spirit. Just as in Jeremiah's day, God may allow false teachers to operate for a season, but their judgment is sure. Let us determine today to fix our eyes on Jesus, the perfect embodiment of God's Word (John 1). Let us fill our hearts and minds with Scripture alone, so we will not be led astray by empty dreams or man-made philosophies. And let us speak God's Word courageously yet humbly, knowing it provides the light and truth this world so desperately needs.


Heavenly Father, we praise You for being the all-seeing, all-knowing, ever-present God who fills the heavens and earth. Forgive us for chasing after spiritual experiences while neglecting the surpassing value of Your Word. Give us discernment to recognize false teaching, and courage to confront it. Help us fix our eyes on Jesus, the incarnate Word. Fill us with Your Spirit of Truth to guide us into all truth. May we hide Your word in our hearts that we might not sin against You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Generated Image(s)

A prophet of truth, shining God's light, while false prophets lurk in darkness.

A prophet of truth, shining God's light, while false prophets lurk in darkness.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.