Jeremiah 23:13-40 (The Message)

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13 "Over in Samaria I saw prophets acting like silly fools - shocking! They preached using that no-god Baal for a text, messing with the minds of my people. 14 And the Jerusalem prophets are even worse - horrible! - sex-driven, living a lie, Subsidizing a culture of wickedness, and never giving it a second thought. They're as bad as those wretches in old Sodom, the degenerates of old Gomorrah. 15 So here's the Message to the prophets from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: "I'll cook them a supper of maggoty meat with after-dinner drinks of strychnine. The Jerusalem prophets are behind all this. They're the cause of the godlessness polluting this country." 16 A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: "Don't listen to the sermons of the prophets. It's all hot air. Lies, lies, and more lies. They make it all up. Not a word they speak comes from me. 17 They preach their 'Everything Will Turn Out Fine' sermon to congregations with no taste for God, Their 'Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen to You' sermon to people who are set in their own ways. 18 Have any of these prophets bothered to meet with me, the true God? bothered to take in what I have to say? listened to and then lived out my Word? 19 Look out! God's hurricane will be let loose - my hurricane blast, Spinning the heads of the wicked like tops 20 God's raging anger won't let up Until I've made a clean sweep, completing the job I began. When the job's done, you'll see that it's been well done. Quit the "God Told Me This" Kind of Talk 21 "I never sent these prophets, but they ran anyway. I never spoke to them, but they preached away 22 If they'd have bothered to sit down and meet with me, they'd have preached my Message to my people. They'd have gotten them back on the right track, gotten them out of their evil ruts. 23 "Am I not a God near at hand" - God's Decree - "and not a God far off? 24 Can anyone hide out in a corner where I can't see him?" God's Decree. "Am I not present everywhere, whether seen or unseen?" 25 "I know what they're saying, all these prophets who preach lies using me as their text, saying 'I had this dream! I had this dream!' 26 How long do I have to put up with this? Do these prophets give two cents about me as they preach their lies and spew out their grandiose delusions? 27 They swap dreams with one another, feed on each other's delusive dreams, trying to distract my people from me just as their ancestors were distracted by the no-god Baal. 28 "You prophets who do nothing but dream - go ahead and tell your silly dreams. But you prophets who have a message from me - tell it truly and faithfully. What does straw have in common with wheat? Nothing else is like God's Decree. 29 Isn't my Message like fire?" God's Decree. "Isn't it like a sledgehammer busting a rock? 30 "I've had it with the 'prophets' who get all their sermons secondhand from each other. 31 Yes, I've had it with them. They make up stuff and then pretend it's a real sermon. 32 "Oh yes, I've had it with the prophets who preach the lies they dream up, spreading them all over the country, ruining the lives of my people with their cheap and reckless lies. "I never sent these prophets, never authorized a single one of them. They do nothing for this people - nothing!" God's Decree. 33 "And anyone, including prophets and priests, who asks, 'What's God got to say about all this, what's troubling him?' tell him, 'You, you're the trouble, and I'm getting rid of you.'" God's Decree. 34 "And if anyone, including prophets and priests, goes around saying glibly 'God's Message! God's Message!' I'll punish him and his family. 35 "Instead of claiming to know what God says, ask questions of one another, such as 'How do we understand God in this?' 36 But don't go around pretending to know it all, saying 'God told me this . . . God told me that....'I don't want to hear it anymore. Only the person I authorize speaks for me. Otherwise, my Message gets twisted, the Message of the living God-of-the-Angel-Armies 37 "You can ask the prophets, 'How did God answer you? What did he tell you?' 38 But don't pretend that you know all the answers yourselves and talk like you know it all. I'm telling you: Quit the 'God told me this . . . God told me that...' kind of talk 39 "Are you paying attention? You'd better, because I'm about to take you in hand and throw you to the ground, you and this entire city that I gave to your ancestors. I've had it with the lot of you. 40 You're never going to live this down. You're going down in history as a disgrace."
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