Hananiah’s message to the people was a positive one, proclaiming God’s triumph over the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. The message was packaged with tasty details (“within two years” and “I will…bring back…Jeconiah”) and heroic images of release from exile. Jeremiah in so many words said, “Great message — I wish it were true!” But it was a lie and the people believed it and, in the end, it constituted “rebellion against the Lord.”
For me, I understand the desire of God’s people (including myself) to sound heroic on God’s behalf. But maybe He is planning a period of darkness before the light finally dawns. I may not even see the light in some cases! Many Israelites must have died before they could see what they wanted to see: God take away the 70-year iron yoke of Nebuchadnezzar.
Therefore I need to keep working on my daily relationship with God and making sure it’s genuine and not drift off into pleasant-sounding diversions because, in the end, God’s ways can be a mystery, and I need to be prepared for the long haul.