Lying Prophets, False Prophets and False Oracles (Jeremiah 23:9 – 40)

jeremiah

Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 23:9 – 40

1. List all the professions you can think of – from palm reader to meteorologist – whose job it is to predict the future. Which of them can you trust? Why?

2. Do you remember your dreams? Describe a dream you had recently? Why does it stick in your memory?

3. Do you ever read the horoscope? Why or why not?

4. Why would Jeremiah feel “like a drunken man” upon finding out that the court prophets are false (verse 9)? What does God mean by calling the prophets “adulterers” (verses 10, 14, see also Genesis 19)?

5. What distinguishes the false prophet (verses 13 – 17, 21, 27, 32; see also Deuteronomy 13:1 – 5)? How are Judah’s prophets measuring up to these criteria? What false image of God do they project (verses 23 and 24)?

6. Compared to the source of the false prophet’s word, where does a true prophet get God’s word (verses 18 and 22)?

7. How will both the false prophet and true prophet be exposed for what they are (verses 25 – 32)?

8. What catch-phrases did the religious people use in Jeremiah’s day (verses 33 – 38)? What would be a modern equivalent of this language, often heard in churches today?

9. What will God do to unburden His people (verses 39 and 40; see Jeremiah 20:11)?

10. Are there “prophets” (false or true) today? If not, why not? If so, how does one discern the modern true prophet? What is the message of the modern false prophet?

11. Regarding “the Lord’s council” (verses 18, 22) and the shape of the future, do you think God:

  • knows all?
  • controls all?
  • both?
  • neither?

What difference does it make to you?

12. What does it mean for you to “stand” in that council of the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 2:16): What is involved, where, when, with whom?

13. For what do you have a burden today? Do you have a message to give? An action to take? A situation to remedy? In what way is that burdensome?

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