v 14 Your prophets have said so many foolish things, false to the core.
They did not save you from exile by pointing out your sins.
Instead, they painted false pictures, filling you with false hope.
Jeremiah – Jeremiah – I feel so desperately sad for you! The city is totally surrounded, God’s message to you has been to tell the people to surrender and yet they look on you as a quisling – the traitor who says give in to your attackers. Listen to the rest of the prophets! They say ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace’. (Jeremiah 6 v 14) The rest of the prophets are deluded men, living under the illusion that all will be well and Jerusalem will be safe.
Can’t they understand, Jeremiah, that because of the overwhelming sin of the people God is going to destroy the city? No – they are blind men, believing a lie. And worse still, they are going to try to silence you for good by dropping you in a muddy pit and leaving you there to die. (It will take an Ethiopian immigrant, Ebed-Melech, to haul you out. Read it in Jeremiah 38)
Is this what ‘Faith’ is about – believing a lie spoken by evil, self-seeking prophets? Or can we believe the one isolated, persecuted, desolate prophet – can we trust you Jeremiah?
In my mind’s eye I can see it Jeremiah; you’ve written those prophecies down and the King (of all people!) is sitting by his fire cutting up the prophetic scroll and burning it section by section. (You can read that in Jeremiah 36) – and how you set about writing it all again. That’s why we’ve only got the second edition these days!
Why, Oh Why, didn’t the people get God’s message Jeremiah? (Jeremiah 4:4) ‘O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.’
Perhaps it was more comfortable to live with the illusion of safety.