Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3574

Jump Start # 3574

Jeremiah 23:16 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord.”

  Jeremiah lived in troublesome times. The glory days of Judah was about to end. The patience of God on this wayward nation had run out. Babylon was coming and the destruction would be severe. The nation was not turning back to God. And, one of the major reasons was that the prophets, who ought to have been the spiritual leaders, were telling everyone that all is fine. Earlier they said, “Peace, peace,” but God said, there is no peace. The role of the prophets were to be the voice piece of God and to preach the righteous ways of the Lord. Things were so bad with these prophets, that in our verse today, God says, “do not listen to them.” And, in a profound revelation, God says the visions of these prophets were of their own imagination. They had made up things. It’s what they wanted, not what the Lord had declared.

  Visions of their own imagination, not just something the prophets of old came up with, but something we find today. Consider:

  First, the imagination of some today ignores what the Bible says. They want a utopia of love and peace and nothing matters. No rules. No regulations. No limitations. No doctrines. No sermons. Just, love and peace. In this imaginary world, sexuality, gender dysphoria, how one worships, the function of the church, all blend together under the wonderful world of grace. “Imagine,” some say, “a church without doctrine.” Or, “loving God is the only requirement.” And, this dreamy world of love, grace and acceptance only exists in their imagination. Realty teaches us that God knows what works. God understands us better than we know ourselves. God knows human nature, and without instruction, warnings, guardrails, doctrine, man will sink deeper and deeper into the sewer of sin.

  Second, the imagination of the prophets in Jeremiah’s day, closed their eyes to what was happening all around them. Imagination is just another way of saying denial. Judah was all in with idolatry. From the top to the bottom, the nation was corrupt and deluded, not accepting Jehovah as the one true God. Jeremiah came across as an out of touch, old fashioned, hard nosed, relic from the past. Yet the imaginary ways of the prophets, while making some happy, they never brought the people closer to God. The imagination of these false prophets was not stopping the coming destruction that the wrath of God was bringing upon them. Dream all you want. Wish all you want. The way of God is not changed by our wants, demands or protests.

  Ask for the ancient paths, is a statement from the Lord in Jeremiah. Don’t be chasing your imaginations that are unfounded and untrue. Stand with the Lord.

  Third, without Biblical evidence, these imaginary visions would all fall apart. They were not from God. And, today, when we try to build a system solely on grace and want to discredit doctrine, the crowds will swell, but they won’t last. They won’t last because the basis and the foundation are not of the Lord. What happens when the next prophet comes along with a different imagination? Then, yet another one? Step by step, away from the Lord they go, until they are so far away that they cannot even find the Lord.

  Fourth, the prophets had the assumption that they could improve upon the Lord. They knew what the Lord didn’t know. They had a better way. They had a message that was kinder. They knew, so they thought. And, at the core, is the problem that they were not content with the way of the Lord. Everyone around them had idols. Why can’t we? Everyone around them didn’t have all those strict rules that the O.T. demanded. Why do we? The message was of freedom. The message was of joy. The message was not of God.

  We cannot find a better way to worship than what the Lord has authorized. We cannot find a better way to salvation than what the Lord has authorized.

 Leave the imagination to Disney. We must walk with the Lord.