Oddly enough, I’m reminded of that moment in “The Princess Bride” where the Grandfather pauses reading to tell the Grandson that the Princess doesn’t die. It’s that moment when the Shrieking Eels are moving in for the kill, but the giant, Fezzi skaves the Princess. It’s like that here, only instead of adventure and suspense it’s misery and dread. I’m not clutching my blankets as the Grandson did, I’m trying to pull them over my head and roll over and away. Peaking ahead a few decades, however, we know it works out.
And looking back, it never had to come to this. A loving God kept calling to these people again and again over hundreds of years (450 in Israel’s case), but the people kept chasing false gods, worshiping them and adopting all the greater and lesser evils that go along with ignoring God and His ways. The message for me here in the 21st century is to hear God when He calls. Hear Him early and hear Him often.
And that brings us to Hananiah. If you were in the crowd watching this circus of Jeremiah with his yoke and Hananiah breaking it (Jeremiah 27-28) do you think you could tell which guy to believe? You see, that’s an important question because we face it today. When life gets complex, which voice is the right one to heed?
Check out Jeremiah’s response in verses 28:5-9. This is one of those places in the Bible where God reminds us that His prophets are always right. They’d often give short- and long-term prophesies. If the short-term prophesy came true, then you could put reasonable faith in the long-term. (Notice 28:15-17 with a shudder.)
To quote Vizzini VERY loosely, don’t fall victim to the classic blunders! The most famous of which is “Don’t trust prophets whose prophesies fail.” Also, “don’t trust the wisdom of advisors whose lives bear rotten fruit.” And “don’t follow any way except the way the Lord lays out.” The promises of the other ways really seem quite attractive, but they never deliver.
Finally, rewind Israel about 400 years. Jerusalem wasn’t being captured by the Babylonians then just like most of us aren’t wallowing in misery and dread in our comfy lives today. But we’re still at the turning point every day for great and small decisions that lead…somewhere. Choose Life.