OUR DAILY BREAD DEVOTIONAL FOR SEPTEMBER 15, 2023 (THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHETS)
TOPIC : THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHETS
Bible in a Year: Proverbs 22–24 2 Corinthians 8
Memory Verse: In the past God spoke . . . through the prophets . . . , but in these last days . . . by his Son. Hebrews 1:1–2
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 28:2–4,10–16
The focus of Jeremiah 28 is the prophet’s dealings with a false prophet named Hananiah. God had instructed Jeremiah to “make a yoke out of straps and crossbars” and put it on his neck (27:2) to symbolize God’s discipline upon the nation—undoubtedly an unwelcome message. But Hananiah presented a contradictory message to the people saying that God had broken that yoke and promised the exiles a swift return to their homeland (28:1–4).
Hananiah then broke Jeremiah’s yoke (v. 10) to visualize the promise he claimed was from God. Jeremiah confronted Hananiah with a very different message—God would bring judgment on Hananiah the false prophet (vv. 15–17).
Before baseball’s 1906 World Series, sportswriter Hugh Fullerton made an astute prediction. He said the Chicago Cubs, who were expected to win, would lose the first and third games and win the second. Oh, and it would rain on the fourth. He was right on each point. Then, in 1919, his analytical skills told him certain players were losing World Series games intentionally. Fullerton suspected they’d been bribed by gamblers. Popular opinion ridiculed him. Again, he was right.
Fullerton was no prophet—just a wise man who studied the evidence. Jeremiah was a real prophet whose prophecies always came true. Wearing an ox yoke, Jeremiah told Judah to surrender to the Babylonians and live (Jeremiah 27:2, 12). The false prophet Hananiah contradicted him and broke the yoke (28:2–4, 10). Jeremiah told him, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you,” and added, “This very year you are going to die” (vv. 15–16). Two months later, Hananiah was dead (v. 17).
The New Testament tells us, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets . . . , but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1–2). Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and through the Scriptures and guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s truth still instructs us today.
Reflect & Pray
What big questions trouble you? What might you learn about them by learning more about what Jesus taught?
Father, I have big questions today, and I need Your Spirit to guide me into Your truth. Help me to trust You in the things I can’t see.
Our Daily Bread 2023 Devotional is written by Tim Gustafson and published by Our Daily Bread Ministries.