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Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
2 Peter 2:1-3
Do Only The Faithful Prosper? 102811
So much emphasis is placed upon prosperity and economic well-being, that a member of my congregation asked this question, ‘If the faithful prosper, am I not faithful?’ Like many congregations, ours face job loss, unemployment, and student loans and loss of retirement and savings. People are depressed; even though the economists say the economy is recovering. People are not.
What do we tell those who are suffering? Has God abandoned them as unfaithful if they fail to prosper?
Both Ezekiel and 2 Peter today warn about false prophets, so we all should be cautious, lest we become a false prophet, or that we listen to one.
Instead, we still should pray the Lord’s Prayer, and remember that we pray for our ‘daily bread’ and not enough bread for a lifetime, and that we pray to both forgive and be forgiven. Pray today first for the many in the world that lack even their daily bread, and watch their children perish from hunger and thirst. Pray that we all may share what God has given.
Pray for peace and for the Kingdom of God.
1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble
3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
4Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;
5hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
6Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;
7he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.
33He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground,
34a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.
35He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.
36And there he lets the hungry live, and they establish a town to live in;
37they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield.
13The word of the Lord came to me: 2Mortal, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are prophesying; say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: “Hear the word of the Lord!” 3Thus says the Lord God, Alas for the senseless prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 5You have not gone up into the breaches, or repaired a wall for the house of Israel, so that it might stand in battle on the day of the Lord. 6They have envisioned falsehood and lying divination; they say, “Says the Lord,” when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they wait for the fulfillment of their word! 7Have you not seen a false vision or uttered a lying divination, when you have said, “Says the Lord,” even though I did not speak? 8Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have uttered falsehood and envisioned lies, I am against you, says the Lord God. 9My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations; they shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord God.
10Because, in truth, because they have misled my people, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace; and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear whitewash on it. 11Say to those who smear whitewash on it that it shall fall. There will be a deluge of rain, great hailstones will fall, and a stormy wind will break out. 12When the wall falls, will it not be said to you, “Where is the whitewash you smeared on it?” 13Therefore thus says the Lord God: In my wrath I will make a stormy wind break out, and in my anger there shall be a deluge of rain, and hailstones in wrath to destroy it. 14I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare; when it falls, you shall perish within it; and you shall know that I am the Lord. 15Thus I will spend my wrath upon the wall, and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash; and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it— 16the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for it, when there was no peace, says the Lord God.
2 Peter 2:1-3
2But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among
you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned.
3And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction i
s not asleep.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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