12 Sometime after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke-bars from off the neck of Jeremiah the prophet, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “Go, tell Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars, but you have made in their place bars of iron. 14 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put upon the neck of all these nations an iron yoke to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him, for I have given to him even the beasts of the field.’”Many would suffer who listened to Hananiah's words, instead of the true word from God in Jeremiah. They would be punished for their false hope in God's previous promise. I know that God had promised blessings and cursings, and in this destruction God was honoring those promises, but think of it from the guy on the street perspective.
One preacher is saying, "God will free us from our oppressor. Don't leave this land of promise no matter what the reason. God has great plans for us even still. He will deliver very soon."
The other preacher is saying "God is punishing you for your sins. You need to leave the land of promise and be faithful to me in a foreign land. I will bring you again someday, but for now you need to let go."
Which preacher would you listen to? Can you imagine what modern day America would do to Jeremiah? How dare you say this is God's punishment upon us! God gave us this land, why would he take it away?
(Of course the catch was, Jeremiah prophesied that the other prophet would die in a year - and he did! kinda makes you want to believe him.)
Well here's the rest of the story...
15 “Because you have said, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ 16 thus says the Lord concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your kinsmen who did not go out with you into exile: 17 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the Lord, that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the Lord.’
Have you ever had to let go of God's promise because of your sin or someone else's sin?