“I Had A Dream!” ( Jeremias 23: 23-25, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Water dream
Water dream (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

 

23 God am I, the Lord says, only when I stand near, and not when I am far away? 24 Where, he would know, will you hide so close that he is not watching you, he, the Lord, that fills heaven and earth? 25 No word, he says, but reaches my ears when one of these prophets gives false guidance in my name; I had a dream, he will tell you, I had a dream!

 

The world of the internet with its social media opens my eyes and mental ears to this refrain “I had a dream!” rather more often than when I walk down the street. Often the refrain is “God gave me a dream, and in this dream He said…”

Is this prophecy? I peruse some of these “dreams” occasionally ( not very often ) and always wonder how someone is able to say “this came from God.”

Look at the Holy Scripture. Think how many years and how many men ( mostly men ) read and prayed over it to decide if it belonged in the Canon, if it is actually God’s infallible Word. Then think about that person on Facebook or Twitter whose dream is supposedly from God.

I cringe.

 

“Whenever I” ( Jeremiah 20: 9, NEB ) by Carley Evans


Jeremiah calls himself God’s dupe. He’s been flogged and placed in stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin, in the house of the Lord. (Jeremiah 20:1-2) Jeremiah moans that God “outwits [him] and prevails.” He groans that he “is made a laughing-stock all the day long, everyone mocks [him].” (Jeremiah 20:7) As a prophet of the Lord, he proclaims “violence and destruction,” and as a result “[he] is reproached and mocked all the time for uttering the Word of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 20:8)

Jeremiah decides enough is enough. He sets out to “call [God] to mind no more, nor speak in His Name again.” (Jeremiah 20:9)

What happens? “[God’s] Word is imprisoned in [Jeremiah’s] body, like a fire blazing in [his] heart, and [he] is weary with holding it under, and [he] can endure it no more.” Not only that, Jeremiah senses that his friends are watching “for a false step” so they may take revenge. (Jeremiah 20:10) Boldly Jeremiah asserts “the Lord is on my side, strong and ruthless, therefore my persecutors shall stumble and fall powerless.” (Jeremiah 20:11) He rattles his own soul, urging himself to “sing to the Lord, praise the Lord.” (Jeremiah 20:13)

In a marked mood swing, Jeremiah suddenly stops praising his Lord, and curses the day he is born. “Be it ever unblessed,” he cries out, “the day when my mother bore me!” (Jeremiah 20:14) He marvels that “death did not claim [him] before birth, and [his] mother did not become [his] grave.” (Jeremiah 20:17) He struggles to comprehend “why [he] came forth from the womb to know only sorrow and toil, to end [his] days in shame.” (Jeremiah 20:18)

Jeremiah laments, “I am weary with holding [the Word of the Lord] under, and can endure it no more.” (Jeremiah 20:9) The imprisoned Word of God burns like fire within, and must escape. Jeremiah curses the day of his birth, but he continues speaking until the day of his death.