Monday, April 4, 2016

Ezekiel on Prophets Who Give False Prophesies, Visions and Divinations (Ezekiel 13:1-6, 10-12)

The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins… Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, ‘The LORD declares,’ when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled… They lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash… When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, ‘Where is the whitewash you covered it with?’”
(Ezekiel 13:1-6, 10-12,

From his vantage point in Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel could see that everything was decidedly not all right.  Back in Judah, there were so-called prophets who kept telling the people everything was going to be okay. They said things were going to get better, there would be peace instead of war (If today, it would sound like this: “I declare prosperity and health are coming your way…”).

Ezekiel knew better; the Lord told him greater judgment was coming. The false prophets’ message didn’t match with what the Lord had already said, that the people would be punished for their (conscious) rebellion against Him. The people hadn’t repented, so why should things change?

It’s easy to say, “Thus says the Lord…” It’s even easy to convince yourself that something is truth when you’ve just wished it or made it up. Ezekiel marveled at the prophets who prophesied out of their own spirit and imagination, and then expected their words to be fulfilled. As yesterday, even today, there are false prophets who want to “lead [God’s] people astray.” Be careful what you hear and read today. In the end, the Word of God is the only reliable basis for what is true and what is not. Amen.

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