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Thursday, June 8, 2023
Yesterday we were in a remote portion of Northumberland County about 50 miles (straight line) north of us where we met the Lapp family for a day of adventure. On the way we passed these very happy Amish girls who had been working together planting organic herbs and took an "excursion" on the wagon. The young driver was having an especially fun time.
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Message summary: Today, as much as ever, we must continue to be on our guard against false prophets.
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“Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say, ‘Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us’” (Micah 3:9). "I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, 'I will not listen!' This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed Me" (Jeremiah 22:21). “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
Yesterday we passed a truck that had the large letters on it "Super Ego". Turns out it's an actual trucking company although I was unable to find how they came up with that name. But it sure struck me as descriptive of many politicians and more than a few religious leaders!
Micah described the politicians and religious leaders (priest and prophets) in the daily text; essentially they were in it for the money which is also true of many politicians and more than a few religious leaders today who may also have super egos and false motives.
A mega theme in Micah's book includes rebukes to false prophets, corrupt government leaders and greedy priests. These are timelessly needed rebukes.
Today we will focus on the false prophets:
"A false prophet is a person who spreads false teachings or messages while claiming to speak the Word of God. In the Bible, false prophets also spoke on behalf of false gods. False prophets functioned in their prophetic role illegitimately or for the purpose of deception. The Bible denounces false prophets for leading people astray." (from gotquestions.org)
The prophets were misleading the people by failing to faithfully proclaim God's word and telling people only what they wanted to hear. Many false prophets spoke against the plan of God. Today we have many weak churches and pulpits which have succumbed to liberalism and accommodation with the world proclaiming a false message.
Jeremiah demonstrates the role of a true prophet speaking for God, "I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, 'I will not listen!' This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed Me" (Jeremiah 22:21).
Jeremiah faithfully ministered during those fateful last days of Judah prior to the Babylonian captivity. He served during the time of godly Josiah the last King that honored God. Each of the four kings that followed him were evil. The context of the daily verse places it at the time of Jehoiakim, who reigned for eleven years and whose life is summed up by the phrase "the detestable things he did" (2 Chronicles 36:8). How would you like the writer of your obituary to include that same description followed by the listing of those detestable things?
Consider the first clause in the daily text, "I warned you when you felt secure". In addition to security the Hebrew word used here conveys abundance and prosperity. It seems that just prior to the fall of the kingdom there was a period of prosperity and security in Judah. Even as evil swept through the land and judgment loomed, the economy was booming. The people "felt secure" and just wouldn't listen to the warning of the true prophet of God. By contrast the false prophets were saying, "'Peace, peace'; when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 8:11b).
Jesus warned His listeners, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). The apostle John's timeless warning is, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Today, as much as ever, we must be on our guard against false prophets!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Daily prayer: Father, many of us responded to Scripture in the way that people responded to Micah's words of warning now recorded in Scripture, "'I will not listen!" From our youth into adulthood we chose not to obey Your words in Scripture. How wonderful that the Spirit of God got our attention and changed our heart's response to that of "I will listen!" I will listen to the message of salvation presented through Christ's sacrificial death. I will listen to preachers, prophets, and evangelists who pronounce truths from Your holy Word. Not only will I listen, but I will obey that which is taught according to Scripture. I will keep up my guard against any false prophet who would add to, take away from or alter the inspired Word of God handed down through the centuries. My very soul is at stake and my eternal destination as well! Keep me faithful, I pray, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Faithful God" Click to listen on YouTube I Am They
Yesterday we visited an animal farm, an interesting choice for an activity for the Lapp family on vacation, since they operate the Old Windmill Farm. Bit this farm had exotic animals like the ostrich, deer, zebra, camels, etc. which the children enjoyed feeding.
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Feeding the camels.
The hazy day is due to the wildfires in Canada which is impacting our entire region.
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We also toured Woodward Cave, which was a first cave tour for the children and proved to be an interesting one, as most caves are.
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