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Jeremiah 23:23-24 1
23 Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

Let’s add a little more of Jerramiah for a better perspective.

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? 30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.

Background

We find our prophet Jeremiah beginning this chapter with hope, telling the people that they had bad leadership but that God would restore a king that would be fair. The current priests and prophets of Judah are corrupt. He is telling the people not to listen to those who corrupt God’s word and make false promises. Taking us up to his declaration to the people by quoting God Himself and drawing attention that the prophets leading the people did not know God and the people should know this by the messages themselves.

Our study verses now go to the heart of the matter. Nobody can hide from the LORD. Both Amos, the prophet, (Amos 9:1-4) and Jeremiah said that nobody can escape from the LORD’s punishment.  God then declares that He is near to His people but also He is above everyone and everything else. God can reach the furthest places in both on the earth and in space. So God knows what people are saying and He knows what they are doing. So obviously, God knows the truth about the false prophets. Keep in perspective that Jeremiah is a prophet warning the people of Israel.

Items for Discussion

  • “Fake News” has been around for a long time.  Who will God hold accountable for the lack of truth?
  • What do you do to fact check what you hear?
  • If the people must sort out the fake news of the day, where should people go to sort out God’s Truth?
  • How did the birth and growth of Christianity work to sort out Truthful messages from God?

 

Matthew 23:12
12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Background

In chapter 23, Matthew is quoting Jesus. While translations vary slightly the meaning of Matthew 23:12 is that man should humble himself before God. Nothing’s more hateful in God’s sight than pride. Jesus was speaking out in this particular bible verse about the sins of religious leaders and the Pharisees. In today’s world, people, especially leaders, often find themselves at the centers of terrible scandals involving  money and sex. Sounds like current news headlines.

Items for Discussion

  • What is humility?
  • If you think back on the history of Christianity, what are the times of great humility and times of great pride?
  • Why is humility such an important trait in a Christian or Christian church?
  • Can you teach people to be humble? How?
  • How might we be teaching people to be prideful, just the opposite of what Jesus wanted?
  • Can you be a Christian without humility?

Discussion Challenge

  • What are the tests a Christian can apply to sort out God’s Truth in all they hear?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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