Is it wrong to hope for world peace? The great masterpiece of movie magic “Miss Congeniality” has a not so subtle dig at the cliche of Beauty Pageant participants saying that their greatest hope was for World Peace. It is certainly not a wrong thing to hope for! But hope as we might, if it is not part of God’s plan for his people then it simply will not happen.
The false prophet Hananiah not doubt won the hearts and hopes of the people of Israel by proclaiming that God said in Jeremiah 28:2
‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’
Freedom from captivity at last! And what’s wrong with providing a little hope now and then? The problem is that Hananiah was not prophesying what God would do but rather was simply declaring what the people earnestly hoped for.
2 Timothy 4:3 says
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
The problem was not that God was being slow in redeeming Israel, but that Israel was being slow in repenting. Restoration without repentance is a false economy.
Paul says in Romans 8:5
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Wanting hard enough for something to be true does not make it true. Only God gets to set truth. Pastoral this is really important. Comforting someone with a lie to make them feel better does not make it all better – it actually makes it worse. How tempting it is in the heat of the moment to tell someone what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear.
May we be people of truth, while also being loving.
[Originally posted on 28/10/2015 by lachlanedwards2013.]