“Don’t worry,” and “There’s nothing to worry about,” are two entirely different things

Jeremiah 28:9

“But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord, only if his prediction comes true.” NIV

I skipped over this verse for some reason.  I didn’t realize that I’d skipped it until this morning.  Yesterday, I had made it all the way to Ezekiel in the listings of the word, “worry” in The Message.  Today, I’m back in Jeremiah, where this verse reads, “So any prophet who preaches that everything is just fine and there’s nothing to worry about stands out like a sore thumb.  We’ll wait and see.  If it happens, it happens — and then we’ll know that God sent him.” MSG

Jeremiah is speaking here, against the false prophet Hananiah.  Chapter 28, in fact, is called “The False Prophet Hananiah” in my NIV version of the Bible.

At the beginning of the chapter, Hananiah claims to have a word from God.  He tells the people that all will be restored, and that God will break the yoke of the King of Babylon.

Jeremiah responds that he wishes that were true, but, that all of the prophets who have come before them have prophesied the opposite.  Later in the chapter, God tells Jeremiah that Hananiah is a false prophet, and, by the end of the chapter, Hananiah is dead.

So, here’s the interesting thing … Jeremiah basically says, everything isn’t going to be all right … there are definitely bad things coming … things that would merit worrying over, if one, like me, were a worrier.

But, commanding us not to worry, as God does over and over again throughout the Bible, is no where near saying “there’s nothing to worry about.”  There’s lots to worry about, we just shouldn’t spend our time here doing that.

Even when very bad things happen, we are called to trust God and to step forward on faith with Him.  Regardless of my changing circumstances, God never changes.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Jeremiah, Old Testament, Worry

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