“Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:31,32)
There is a place in all of us where our deepest fears and desires reside. These fears and desires often find their way into our dreams. When we awake we’re either glad or sad that it was all “just a dream.” Day after day, we carry around these fears that fuel our nightmares and desires that inspire our most pleasant dreams.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem didn’t sleep too well when the army of Nebuchadnezzar was outside their walls. They desperately didn’t want to believe he would soon be inside their gates, and they and their children would be killed or carted off to Babylon. They longed for “good news” and there were plenty of false prophets ready to cater to them.
The “prophets” (who would not profit them) spoke as one: “It’s not going to happen!” The “good” dreams and visions of the prophets countered the worst nightmares of the people. “Peace, peace,” the prophets declared. But there was no peace in the people’s immediate future. Judgment was the next step.
So much of the bold declarations of those whom God has not sent is no more than wishful thinking. They say, “God has decreed that this will happen, or this won’t happen,” but they are only projecting what they and their hearers want or don’t want to see happen. False prophecy is projectionism. “Thus saith the Lord,” is proclaimed, when He has said no such thing. Men are simply combatting their deepest fears and clinging to their deepest desires. And they are taking the Lord’s name in vain.
It is time to wake up. It is time to tell the false prophets to sit down and be silent. Where can Jeremiah be found?