But, "Ah, Lord GOD!" I said, "Look, the prophets are telling them, 'You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.'"
Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them--yet they keep saying, 'There will be no sword or famine in this land'--by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! "The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to bury them--[neither] them, [nor] their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters--for I will pour out their [own] wickedness on them.
Jeremiah 14:13-16 (NASB)
Hymn: "Jesus Is All the World to Me" Will L. Thompson
I have been on this one social blogging website for about a decade, which seems kind of ridiculous when I say it out loud. But in that time, I have seen the Christian community on that site break into factions a few times over theological matters. The current movement is an opposition to the prosperity gospel.
What I find especially notable about it is that the condemnation of the prosperity gospel is happening alongside posts, rarely even on the same blog, that talk about 'claiming' miracles by the end of February or changes in the coming year. There doesn't seem to be a full recognition of the relationship between these things. The thing is, the prosperity gospel doesn't come out of nowhere. There are promises in scripture that, read without hearing the message the Bible actually contains, sound an awful lot like the prosperity gospel. There are stories about servants of God receiving great blessings. Why should we assume these don't apply to us?
The people of Jeremiah's day had good reason to believe what the false prophets were saying. It wasn't just comfortable for them to hear, it sounded like it made sense. God had said He would establish the throne of David forever, He had protected Judah many times in the past, He had made promises of protection and wealth and success. In light of that history, it certainly sounded like God wouldn't let the kingdom fall. The problem with the interpretation, like so many other false reads of scripture, is that they do not include a knowledge of God Himself.
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life-- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us-- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:1-3 (NASB)
The Word of God is a higher authority than our interpretation or our experiences. We have to hear what God is actually saying to us and our situation. We need to constantly go back to the scripture, and seek to truly know the God behind it, if we are ever going to make sense of the claims being made within it.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation