I recently was drawn to re-read Jeremiah 23 and although much of it was a scathing yet encouraging prophecy for Israel, there are parts of it that speak prophetically to how we should handle the apostasy we are now in today as well as giving us a glimpse of what the Lord Jesus will do for Israel and his church in the future.
If you’ve been paying attention to goings on in churches worldwide, we are in a period where pastors are doctrinally scattering God’s flock with heretical teachings and spiritual compromises to the point where some believers have left their church and/or even sought refuge in other nations, especially the U.S. Here’s how God addresses them:
1Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. 2 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. Jer. 23
In keeping with his promise that Christ wants to present to himself a church without spot or wrinkle that is holy and unblemished (Eph. 5:27) in addition to his promise that judgment must begin in the house of the Lord (1 Pet. 4:17), he gives us this assurance:
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The LORD Our Righteousness. Jer. 23
Jehovah-tsidkenu (the LORD our Righteousness, i.e. the Lord Jesus) will set things right for us when he returns to set up his Millenial Kingdom. However, we don’t have to wait until that time to be standard-bearers for righteousness. The best way to put down false teachers and false prophets (who do all kinds of evil such as adultery, profanity, embracing Sodom and Gomorrah, puffing people up, prophelying, etc. (see Jer. 23:10-11, 14, 16-17, 25)) is to preach and prophesy God’s genuine words, as Jeremiah points out in this passage–
28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Jer. 23
Sharing godly dreams/visions and God’s word faithfully is like the wheat that is so confident in its purpose of providing foodstuffs for nourishment that it considers the chaff (deceivers) as something to be dismissed–not worth any consideration. God’s word provides all the power needed to act as a fire that purifies (Isa. 6:6-7), provides judgment (Psalm 140:10; Proverbs 25:21-22), lights our path (Psalm 119:105), gives us zeal for the Lord (Jer. 20:9), and can protect (Zech. 2:5). His word also acts as a hammer that breaks hearts of stone to pieces in repentance (Acts 2:37, 41).
Lord, purify your church with righteous zeal for your word through your Spirit.