Many people, today, use fame and fortune as yardsticks to measure success. But the story of Charles Schwab, an American steel magnate, who was the President of the world’s largest independent steel company, should be a sober reflection. He rose to fame and could own a 44 room summer estate on 1,000 acres in Loretto.
He became an international celebrity, traveling in private rail car. He thought his fame and fortune was an opportunity to live a notorious lifestyle. He spent all his fortune and died in bankruptcy.
Being popular with the people is not the same as being popular with God. This was the truth with Hananiah, who did not realize this on time. He was popular with the government of the day under King Zedekiah, who saw Jeremiah as a hard-liner. As a result, they always turned to Hananiah to tell them what they wanted to hear instead of what God wanted to tell them.
“Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie” (Jeremiah 28:15).
God had determined to teach Israel a lesson by keeping them in captivity in Babylon for a period of time, which He made known to them through Jeremiah. But Hananiah challenged Jeremiah’s stand. He took off the wooden yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and broke it.
He also told the people, contrary to Jeremiah’s prophecy, that God would break the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar off their neck within a space of two full years. Jeremiah did not engage him in an unnecessary argument. Rather, he walked away from the scene. He only went back to Hananiah at the instance of God to deliver a message of death.
Today, we have Hananiahs, who dine and wine with government functionaries. They mislead politicians, giving them false hope and making a caricature of God’s word.
Many so-called believers, for want of what to eat and wear, have equally become harbingers of false hope through the circulation of dubious and erroneous tales.
We should not go into unnecessary argument with the enemies of God. Whenever they make light of the word of God, we should leave them to God. Jeremiah left everything to God and walked away. We must also warn them about God’s impending judgment.
Thought for the day: Popularity has slain more prophets of God than persecution ever did.
***Share your thoughts and what you’ve just learnt in the comments section below. Don’t forget to SHARE!