Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Ignoring Warnings
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Numbers 14:41-45

There was no mercy from God for this presumptuous sin. These people were warned. They were told explicitly that what they were doing was a sin, what would happen, and that God would not be with them. But they went anyway! They presumed to go up to the mountaintop.

So another thing about presumptuous sinis that it is continuing proudly in the face of advice (and warning) to the contrary. What we see here is that presumptuousness can be rash on the one hand and quite premeditated on the other. But the constant concept behind these things is pride, arrogance, defiance, self-importance, and self-reliance.

It is an ambitious "go get 'em" attitude—one is going to succeed in what you want to do, come hell or high water. No matter what happens, a person will to carry through on his plan—even if God Himself should say, "Don't do it!"

Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Jeremiah 27:1-11

God told Jeremiah to make a number of wooden yokes for himself and for various neighboring kings. The yokes symbolized servitude to Nebuchadnezzar, and poor Jeremiah spent many days wearing a wooden yoke as an example. Through this visual aid, God was instructing Judah, and the other kingdoms, to submit to Babylonian rule. Even though doing so would be very humbling for Judah, it would be better for them than to resist Nebuchadnezzar, and thus God's will. He had already sent numerous prophets, with scores of warnings to repent and turn back to Him, and now the time of reckoning had arrived.

David C. Grabbe
Hananiah's Error

Jeremiah 28:5-9

With a note of sarcasm, Jeremiah replies that he would be thrilled if Hananiah's vision were correct—it would be a remarkable turn of events. Then he points out that the prophets before them had all prophesied calamity rather than prosperity. Hananiah's words were completely out of sync with God's pattern of warning His people through the prophets.

Prior to Jeremiah, God had sent Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, and Nahum to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. He had also sent Jonah to the empire of Assyria. All of them warned of tragedy and disaster if the people did not turn to God. Such warnings reach all the way back to Moses, who recorded the "Blessings and Curses" of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, detailing what God will do to a people who reject Him. Further, God also warns His people to be skeptical of those proclaiming a message of peace that lacks repentance (Jeremiah 4:10; 6:14; 8:11; 14:13; Ezekiel 13:10, 16). But, as God instructs in Deuteronomy 18:21-22, if what Hananiah said did not come to pass, it would be evidence that God had not sent him.

David C. Grabbe
Hananiah's Error

Jeremiah 28:10-11

Hananiah ignored Jeremiah's words of caution and broke the God-ordained yoke that symbolized Nebuchadnezzar's authority over the kingdoms. Jeremiah probably enjoyed a measure of relief at no longer having to wear the yoke, but the gravity of what Hananiah had done overshadowed it.

David C. Grabbe
Hananiah's Error


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