Day 215: False Prophets

Isaiah 51:1-8 The servant reassured those faithful to God’s covenant that his fidelity to them would endure forever. Though opposition and persecution would afflict God’s faithful, they would inherit great blessings, and all injustices would be punished in due time. (CCC 2561)


Ch 51:7 In whose heart is my law: God has inscribed his natural law on the human heart so it is knowable and accessible to every human person. Thus, every person has an innate ability to discern between good and evil. However, due to our fallen nature inherited through Original Sin, the human mind and human will require grace to discern right and wrong accurately. (CCC 1959-1960)


Ch 51:9-16 The servant appealed to God, seeking his help for the sake of the exiles returning to Judah as they attempted to rebuild their nation and the city of Jerusalem. In response, the Lord promised his comfort and presence among his people.


Ch 51:17-23 The people of Jerusalem had consumed the symbolic cup of God’s wrath and were now well disposed to repent of their sins. The Lord said that Babylon, the great oppressor of the Jewish people, would incur greater punishment than the citizens of Judah.


Ch 52:1-12 The servant called upon the people of Jerusalem (Zion) to rebuild the city with confidence in the firm knowledge that the Lord would assist them and would remain with them always. (CCC 62, 713)


Ch 52:7-10 This passage is proclaimed as the First Reading at the Mass during the day on the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas). The messenger who crossed the mountains announced the Lord’s return to Jerusalem and the deportees’ return. Peace, good tidings, and salvation await those who walk in the ways of God.


Ch 52:13-53:12 This is the fourth and final “servant song” of Isaiah, the longest of the four. It is rich with prophecies about Christ, particularly his Passion and Death. For this reason, this lengthy but poignantly poetic passage constitutes the First Reading at the liturgy on Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday). (CCC 713)


Ezekiel 12:1-20 The prophecies at times take on the form of symbolic actions at the request of the Lord. In the first of these kinds of prophecies, Ezekiel carried his possessions as if going on a forced exile, which was a warning that another exile was going to take place. The second was to remind those who stayed in Jerusalem that they would experience a famine as a result of the Babylonian Conquest.


Ch 12:20-28 The people did not take Ezekiel seriously because prophets had sometimes warned of dire consequences that did not happen as expected. Through Ezekiel, however, the Lord affirmed that he would fulfill the prophecies. (CCC 710)


Ch 13:1-16 False prophets, who provided the people with positive messages rather than challenging them for their selfishness, abounded during this period. God did not inspire these words; rather, they were invented for the purpose of placating the people and securing their good favor.


Like foxes among ruins: The prophets were compared to scavengers who looked for a way to profit from the tragedies of others.


Daub it with white-wash: This accusation was levied against the false prophets who would gloss over the sins of the people rather than confront them with a call to repentance.


Ch 13:17-23 The Lord denounced the women who were involved with the black arts. The pastoral tone employed indicates that he was seeking their conversion rather than pronouncing condemnation upon them. (CCC 2117, 2138)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


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  • Before we jump into Isaiah and Ezekiel, let’s talk about Proverbs!

  • Proverbs 12:23, “A prudent man conceals his knowledge, but fools proclaim their folly.”

  • It’s similar to “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” (Words to LIVE by!! 😉)

  • A prudent person conceals what they know

  • You don’t always NEED to say your opinion

  • But the foolish person will ALWAYS say their opinion

  • That’s just my opinion

  • No it’s not, it’s from the Word of God WHICH IS AWESOME

  • Now on to Isaiah Chs 51 and 52

  • These are some of Fr. Mike’s favorite sections of The Book of Isaiah

  • We are in the Book of Consolation

  • There is a COMING TRAGEDY

  • EVERY TIME we are listening to Isaiah, he is PROPHESYING the destruction that is YET TO HAPPEN

  • AND YET...

  • Here is JUDGMENT that is COMING

  • BUT…

  • Here is GRACE that COMES

  • THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!

  • Not only is Isaiah prophesying the fact that there is a COMING EXILE

  • BUT…

  • There is also coming a REDEEMER

  • There is also coming a RETURN FROM EXILE

  • He is talking about about the COMING TRAGEDY

  • BUT…

  • He is also talking about GRACE

  • The message of both these chapters that he keeps saying AGAIN AND AGAIN

  • AWAKE!!

  • WAKE UP!!

  • Not only is JUDGMENT coming

  • BUT…

  • Also, I AM COMING TO YOU

  • Isaiah 51 is saying, “Awake to the reality of God’s JUDGMENT”

  • This is reality WE ALL NEED TO WAKE TO

  • Isaiah 52 is saying, “Awake to the reality of God’s REDEMPTION”

  • OH MY GOSH THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!

  • Awake because here comes the JUDGMENT OF THE LORD

  • Isaiah 52:1, “Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.”

  • SO WAKE UP BECAUSE REDEMPTION IS AT HAND!!

  • Isaiah 52:3, “For thus says the Lord: ‘You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.”

  • What will YOU be redeemed with?

  • Well….we have ANOTHER prophecy of the MESSIAH!!

  • Isaiah 52:13-15, “Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. As many were astonished at him-his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men-so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.”

  • Tomorrow, we will launch into Isaiah Ch 53 which talks about THE LORD’S SUFFERING SERVANT

  • WHAT AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!

  • The WHOLE WORLD will see the REDEMPTION

  • The WHOLE WORLD will see the EXALTATION

  • The WHOLE WORLD will see the HUMILIATION

  • OF THE LORD’S SERVANT

  • HE SHALL STARTLE MANY NATIONS!

  • KINGS SHALL SHUT THEIR MOUTHS BECAUSE OF HIM!

  • FOR THAT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN TOLD THEM THEY SHALL SEE!

  • What does that mean?

  • This means, these AREN’T EVEN JEWISH PEOPLE!

  • They DID NOT EVEN KNOW this was the reality of life!

  • AND YET…

  • THEY ARE GOING TO SEE IT!

  • AND THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED!!

  • MY GOSH!!

  • In Jesus, THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED!

  • I’m not Jewish, are you?

  • Those of us who are Gentiles, aka NOT part of Abraham’s line

  • Like St. Paul said, we get to be GRAFTED onto that tree of those covenant people!

  • The people that we have been walking with and studying for the PAST 215 days!

  • THEIR story has become OUR story!!

  • THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!

  • Why?

  • Isaiah is prophesying here, HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE JESUS

  • The EXALTATION

  • The HUMILIATION

  • BUT…

  • Then HE will be LIFTED UP

  • And ALL NATIONS will be DRAWN TO HIM

  • MAN GOSH SO GOOD SO GOOD!!

  • So on to Ezekiel

  • Once again, he is doing his “performance prophecy”

  • God is telling him, “Ok, get ready and be like someone who is going into EXILE. You are going to reenact Judah’s captivity”

  • A lot of us may think this is odd

  • Ezekiel is ALREADY in EXILE

  • The people who are seeing him, they are seeing him act this out in BABYLON

  • So why is he acting out the exile when they already lived it at this point?

  • There was a FIRST WAVE of Exile

  • There was a SECOND WAVE of Exile

  • BUT…

  • There is a great number of people STILL LIVING IN JERUSALEM IN JUDAH

  • They will hold down the fort

  • They will be there forever and maybe we will eventually get back?

  • BUT…

  • Ezekiel is making it VERY CLEAR

  • EVEN THEY WILL GET EXILED

  • The EXILE has not been COMPLETED YET

  • They are being drawn out of the Holy Place and the DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE has not happened fully

  • IT’S STILL COMING

  • Even in EXILE, so many of the people REMAIN A REBELLIOUS HOUSE

  • REMEMBER…

  • Ezekiel had the VISION of all the abominable things they were doing in the Temple of the Lord

  • AND THEY WERE STILL DOING THOSE ABOMINABLE THINGS TO THAT VERY DAY

  • So Ezekiel is saying, “What’s coming is EVEN WORSE. A WORSE EXILE THAN ANY OF THEM HAS EVER SEEN.”

  • Which is HORRIBLE

  • BUT…

  • It is also REALITY

  • It is the reality of what they lived through

  • It is the reality of what they are GOING to live through

  • In Ezekiel 12 there is this proverb that is STILL being uttered in Israel

  • This proverb talks about how God’s judgment will be delayed.

  • God says he will put an END to this proverb

  • Ezekiel 12:22-23, “...‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb in Israel.’”

  • Ezekiel says, “No actually, the days ARE AT HAND!”

  • They have this idea that God’s judgment is FAR OFF

  • God is telling Ezekiel to PROPHESY

  • Ezekiel is saying, “It is NOT far off!”

  • “THIS IS NOT DELAYED!!”

  • “THIS IS NOT IN THE DISTANT FUTURE!”

  • One of the reasons the people believe what they do is because of FALSE PROPHETS

  • These FALSE PROPHETS were CONSOLING people when they should be CONVICTING people

  • They kept saying, “THIS IS FINE!”

  • They SHOULD have been saying, “You guys, we HAVE TO CHANGE or else destruction is going to happen.”

  • In fact, the words that God speaks through Ezekiel to Israel in Ch 13:10, “...because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace…”

  • Saying YOU’RE FINE when you are NOT FINE

  • Saying IT’S ALL GOOD when it is NOT ALL GOOD

  • This is what FALSE PROPHETS do

  • THEY TELL US WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR!

  • THEY TELL PEOPLE WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR!

  • AND YET…

  • Here is the Lord God who says, “That is not the job of the PROPHET. The job of the PROPHET is to SPEAK THE WORDS OF GOD.”

  • Those false prophets SPEAK FROM THEIR OWN MINDS

  • Those false prophets DO NOT SPEAK FROM THE MIND OF GOD

  • SO…

  • We have this CONVICTION

  • Are we listening to FALSE PROPHETS?

  • OR…

  • Are we listening to GENUINE AUTHENTIC PROPHETS?

  • BUT ALSO…

  • When you are BAPTIZED, you are ANOINTED PRIEST, PROPHET, AND KING/QUEEN

  • THEREFORE…

  • When WE utter, are we uttering JUST WHAT IS ON OUR MINDS?

  • OR…

  • ARE WE SPEAKING WITH THE MIND OF GOD?

  • Are we telling people what they NEED to hear?

  • Or are we telling people what they WANT to hear?

  • Are we ourselves CHOOSING to hear only what we WANT to hear?

  • Or are we CHOOSING to hear what we NEED to hear?

  • THIS IS THE CHALLENGE!

  • It’s so tempting to just say what people WANT to hear

  • It’s so tempting to hear what we WANT to hear

  • AND YET…

  • To belong to JESUS

  • To belong to GOD

  • To be in COVENANT with Him

  • Means that we HAVE TO BE WILLING

  • TO HEAR WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR

  • TO SEE WHAT WE NEED TO SEE

  • TO DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO

  • We can’t do ANY of that ON OUR OWN!

  • WE NEED GOD’S GRACE

  • SO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we thank you so much. Thank you for your Word. We thank you for loving us. We thank you for calling us by name. We thank you for not only your justice, but also for your mercy. And not only for your mercy, but also for your justice. Because we can count on you, God. Because you are not fickle. You are not up and down. You are not hot or cold. You have said yes. And your yes has been declared for us. God, help us to declare our yes for you. Help us to be wise. Help us to be courageous. Help us above all things to be yours in all ways. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”