Straw or Grain?

From Lynda Lindsey 

 “Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:28-29

Regarding the lying prophets: I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.  Jeremiah 23:21-22

The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. Jeremiah 23:20

God minced no words. Stubborn hearted, godless, evil, lying, wicked prophets and priests had chosen to prophesy by Baal and were spreading ungodliness among God’s people. Ignoring Jeremiah’s words from God, the offenders held out false hope, peace and security to the nation. “Peace, peace,” cried the false prophets while the Babylonians were nearly at the door. The lying spokesmen for God had become each their own oracle, distorting the truth of God’s words. Like a dog running in the wind after absconding with the butcher’s meat, so were these lying prophets that ran with their own made-up messages from God.

One who has God’s word should always speak it faithfully; to spread lies by distorting God’s life-giving words is equivalent to stealing. The false prophets stole God’s words; robbing the people and the nation of truth. Because of their grievous sin and unrepentant hearts, the people forfeited their relationship with God, eventually resulting in exile. A person regarded as having no substance or integrity is referred to as a straw man; the deceiving prophets were just that. The false prophets, like straw, were of little substance or integrity; they were useless in God’s service. God’s word, by contrast, is like grain; nourishing, life-giving, of great substance.

A roaring fire gives light and heat, yet it can also devour everything in its path. A hammer carefully wielded is useful for builders, yet it can also be used as a sledge to strike destructive blows. The Word of God roars like a fire, devouring sin while shedding light and heat into the world and our hearts. The Word of God builds us up into strong dwellings able to withstand adversity or it crushes and levels hardened hearts. God’s anger will not turn back until He fully accomplishes the purposes of His heart. The choice is ours. Obey God’s Word, live in His light, and be useful for His kingdom purposes? Or not, and face God’s anger and judgment? Straw or grain?