"This very year you shall die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord. That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died." —Jeremiah 28:16-17
In this corner, we have the prophet Jeremiah. In the opposite corner, we have the prophet Hananiah. In the early rounds of this battle of the prophets, Jeremiah prophesied: "Repent or be led into exile." After that prophecy proved true, Jeremiah prophesied: "Repent or stay in exile." Then Hananiah countered with: "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon' " (Jer 28:2). Jeremiah countered with: "But the prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent by the Lord only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled" (Jer 28:9). Then Hananiah broke the yoke which had been on Jeremiah's neck (Jer 28:10). He did this as a sign that the exile would soon end. Jeremiah countered: "Thus says the Lord: By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!" (Jer 28:13) Then Jeremiah delivered the knockout punch: "Hear this, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, and you have raised false confidence in this people. For this, says the Lord, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth" (Jer 28:15-16). Hananiah, who had prophesied freedom within two years, died within two months of his false prophecy.
- Tell the truth.
- Fight false prophecy with true prophecy.
- Obey God.
Prayer: Father, may I set my heart on "spiritual gifts — above all, the gift of prophecy" (1 Cor 14:1).
Promise: "Take not the word of truth from my mouth, for in Your ordinances is my hope." —Ps 119:43
Praise: Mary, while pregnant with Jesus, prophesied, "His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him" (Lk 1:50).
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek Prophecy.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002