June 22

Jeremiah 28:5-6

“and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfill the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles.” vs. 6

Jeremiah wasn’t the only prophet in town during the years of his ministry. There were many rivals and he was familiar with them all. One of them, Hananiah, was a particular favorite of the Jerusalem elite because he brought words from the Lord that perfectly aligned with the desires of their hearts. He told the gathered priests that Jeremiah was wrong–the country faced a return to prosperity and not destruction–and he said it with passion. Jeremiah responded with sarcasm, a handy tool for a prophet, and said “Amen” to what Hananiah had said. “It would be nice if the country had a rosy future–who could be against that!” In our time we see this in the ongoing conversation about global warming. Right now the Hananiahs have the center stage and the power to control the narrative. It would be nice if those who paint beautiful pictures of the future were right and the nay-sayers were wrong. Unfortunately just making stuff up and making optimistic projections doesn’t do a thing to alter the real consequences of climate change. Sadly, it could very well be that once again the Jeremiahs will have the last word, no matter how much we might like them to be wrong.

Thought for the Day: Why was Jeremiah so pessimistic?

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