For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in My name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD (Jer. 29:8-9).
Over the course of their history, the Israelites had proven that they had little resistance to the lure of the false gods of their neighbors. This fact, more than any other, was the reason that God was forced, more than once, to pronounce judgment upon them. Each time, He had attempted to correct their behavior and steer them back to a place where their total faith and dependence would be turned to Him. At times this would be successful, but soon the stubborn Israelites, consumed with the ways of the flesh, would return to their practice of idolatry. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).
As we review their history, we may wonder exactly what hope they would have living in captivity in an idolatrous nation. As a people, they had proven that they were incapable of remaining faithful to the Lord even when they lived in His holy city next door to His Temple. How could they possibly be expected to survive the onslaught of pagan customs that they would be faced with in the nation of Babylon? As believers living in a fallen world, we face the same type of choices and temptations the Israelites did. Our answer is also the same. We must put our trust in God, seek His will in every situation, and follow His guidance. Remember that the Israelites had already made a conscious choice to submit themselves to God when they surrendered themselves as captives. Alone they had no chance, but with God all things are possible. But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).
God's message delivered to all of those taken captive, commanded them not to listen to the false prophets that would surround them. The Lord offered them encouragement to resist the deception of those that would attempt to draw them into the worship of these false gods. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction (II Pet. 2:1).
The Lord has never failed delivering on any promise that He has ever made. While we may refuse Him, that does not change the fact that He was standing in front of us in fulfillment of all that He offered. While there were certainly those captives that rejected His offer and became lost, those that surrendered to God's will experienced the provision and protection that only the Lord could provide.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14).
Thought for Today:
Surely the LORD GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
As the One who forgives sin (Jer. 31:34). That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power (authority) on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go (Matt. 9:6; compare John 8:10-11).
29:11 an expected end = a hopeful future; 29:23 have committed villany = have done disgraceful things; 30:21 engaged = pledged; 31:14 satiate = fully satisfy; 31:21 high heaps = road signs (pointing back to Israel).
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.