The Scriptorium

The Yoke's on Hananiah

God judges the false prophet. Jeremiah 28.12-17

Yokes All Around (6)

Pray Psalm 57.1-3.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up.

Sing Psalm 57.1-3.
(Faben: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him)
Lord, be gracious, gracious to me, for my soul retreats in You.
In Your shadow keep me safely till the storms of life are through.
I will cry to You, the Most High; You do all things well for me.
You will save me when I thus cry, routing all who threaten me.

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 28.12-17.

1. What was Jeremiah’s message to Hananiah?

2. What happened to Hananiah?

It’s a serious matter to pervert the Word of God and, as a result, to fall into the hands of the living God (Deut. 12.32; Heb. 10.31). Hananiah the false prophet would learn this lesson the hard way.

Jeremiah walked out of the presence of Hananiah and false prophets and priests (v. 11). But God was not through with Hananiah. He sent Jeremiah to speak to him and to reinforce His message to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. Hananiah might break the wooden yokes Jeremiah made, but he would not be able to break the iron yoke of Babylon, which was certainly coming (vv. 12-14).

Even the hard of heart need to hear the full Word of God. Hananiah did not and would not believe Jeremiah, but he still needed to be told.

But it gets worse. God spoke through Jeremiah to tell Hananiah that his sin was so egregious – making the people trust in a lie (v. 15) – that it would cost him his life. Rebellion against God is a serious offense, even on the part of those who claim to be speaking in His Name (v. 16). In fulfillment of the Word of God, Hananiah died before the year was out.

We must not play fast and loose with God’s Word. What He says, He means; and He means everything He says for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Our duty is to receive from the Lord all that He has spoken, not to try to soft-peddle His Word, or to bend it to fit our preferences or convenience. Like Jeremiah, we must be firm in the Word, even if it costs us personally.

1. Why was it so difficult for Hananiah and the others to receive the Word of God from Jeremiah?

2. What happens to a people – or a church – when its leaders stray from Scripture?

3. What is our responsibility – for ourselves and our fellow believers – when it comes to the Word of God?

When Jeremiah admonishes him, saying, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord did not send you,” he omits the title “prophet,” for how could he call him a prophet who refused to be sent by the Lord? Jerome (347-420), Six Books on Jeremiah 5.62.2-4

Keep me in Your Word, and help me to be faithful in proclaiming it today as I…

Pray Psalm 57.4-11.

Pray for those who oppose God and His Word in our world, that God might soften their hearts and enable them to receive His truth.

Sing Psalm 57.4-11.
Psalm 57.4-11 (Faben: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him)
Send Your truth and lovingkindness; raging lions seek my soul.
Threats and sland’rous words without rest they against me fiercely roll.
Be exalted o’er the heavens, let Your glory fill the earth!
To Your Name all praise be given, let all men proclaim Your worth!

Nets and pits they set before me; overwhelmed, my soul bows down.
Let them all in their own works be thrown and scattered on the ground.
Let my heart no more be shaken, I will sing Your praises, Lord!
Harp and glory, now awaken to extol God’s faithful Word!

Praise and thanks among the nations I will sing with all my might!
For Your truth and love are stationed far above the highest height!
Be exalted o’er the heavens, let Your glory fill the earth!
To Your Name all praise be given, let all men proclaim Your worth!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore