March 16, 2015
READ: Jeremiah 29:1-14
This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers . . . trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name” (vv.8-9).
I recently read an article that lists 12 common half-truths many of us have accepted as facts. Here are a few: peanuts aren’t really nuts (they’re legumes), a palm tree isn’t a tree (it’s a plant) and a koala bear isn’t really a bear (it’s a marsupial). Whether they are of consequence or not, we find ourselves swimming in half-truths.
God’s people found themselves living with a half-truth, and Jeremiah had to send a letter to correct them (Jeremiah 29:1). Word had reached the prophet in Jerusalem that some of the exiled false prophets were predicting Babylon would collapse . . . soon, and that those exiled would be able to return to their homeland. Jeremiah, being the true prophet that he was, felt a pastoral obligation to warn his brothers and sisters against self-delusion. He charged the exiles to get comfortable and pursue as normal a life as possible because their exile was going to be long, not short (vv.5-7). Because God was the ultimate agent of the exile, He would be the ultimate agent of their freedom. Instead of listening to and believing the half-truths of false prophets, they were to wait in humble submission for God’s deliverance (vv.10-11).
To avoid falling into the traps of false teachers and their teaching, we need to expect that some will be deceived (1 Timothy 4:1). Test everything that is said by the truth of the Scriptures and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit; hold to what is good and live God honouring lives (1 Thessalonians 5:21); and continue to submit to God and resist the father of lies and half-truths (John 8:31-32,44; James 4:7).
365-day plan: Ruth 2:1-23
Read 2 Timothy 2:17-18, and learn about New Testament false teachers. What half-truth(s) were they attempting to sell?
What lies/half-truths do you see affecting followers of Jesus today? How and why do people accept and live with these false ideas?