Jeremiah 28

Jeremiah 28 has the prophet Hananiah coming into the house of the Lord under the reign of Zedekiah who was king of Judah.  Hananiah prophecies that within two years, God is going ot break the yoke that Babylon has had on the people and restore them.  He said all the exiles would be returning and that God would “break the yoke of the king of Babylon”.  The people were ecstatic – two years wasn’t that long to wait – and they were excited to have that possibility ahead.

Jeremiah comes into the house of the Lord where this was happening and says “May the Lord do so; may the Lord make the words that you have prophesied come true, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles”.  This was something Jeremiah would be glad to have happen too, even if he wasn’t the bearer of the good news.  It was great news.  But Jeremiah knew that it was a bit questionable, and he began to question what Hananiah has proclaimed.

Hananiah makes a very visible response to Jeremiah by breaking the yoke bars from the neck of Jeremiah and breaking them.  It was a picture of the prophecy he had passed on.  Jeremiah would have liked it to be true, but God spoke to him and tells him what Hananiah has shared is not true.  And in fact, God was expanding the reign of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon over Jerusalem and the people of Judah.  Things are no where close to what Hananiah has proclaimed.

In fact, Jeremiah is sent by God to confront Hananiah and set him straight.  “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie….I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the Lord”.  God’s not happy when someone proclaims a word being from Him when in fact it is not, which makes it a lie.  Hananiah lied to God’s people – he shared something they wanted to hear – but it wasn’t from God.  And as Jeremiah told him, seven months later he is dead.  God did what he said he would!

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