Day 104: The Folly and Horror of False Prophets

Jeremiah 23:13-15

“I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria.
They prophesied by Baal,
and caused my people Israel to err.
In the prophets of Jerusalem I have also seen a horrible thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies.
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one returns from his wickedness.
They have all become to me as Sodom,
and its inhabitants as Gomorrah.”

Therefore Yahweh of Armies says concerning the prophets:
“Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
and make them drink poisoned water;
for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”

Back when we were reading through the history books in the Old Testament, we read about how the kingdom of Israel was divided at the time of Solomon’s son Rehoboam. That’s when Jeroboam took all but two of the tribes of Israel and became their leader. As a part of his leadership, he set up an alternate religious system complete with its own sacrifices and priests. He set up Samaria as the religious center of his kingdom. Here we learn that there were also prophets in Samaria and they were prophesying for Baal. This was a completely wicked replacement for the true God of Israel and God calls that out here, but He doesn’t stop with the northern kingdom of Israel.

God also calls out the prophets of Jerusalem. That was the supposedly good kingdom of Judah. God says that they were committing adultery. Evidently, they were overcome with personal sexual problems and were living lies. That sure sounds familiar doesn’t it? We see this same thing happening in the religious denominations in the United States today. Notice that this kind of lifestyle was leading these prophets to encourage the people to go on doing wicked things and not feel bad about them. They were encouraging people to be proud of their ungodly sexual behavior. They became like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Behavior like this among those who are supposed to be spiritual leaders has significant consequences. Here we read that God is committed to feeding them poison. God also has a message to those who hear them as we read next.