Most politicians are a little like the Old Testament false prophets of old, only telling people what they want to hear.
At the time, Jeremiah the Prophet was badly outnumbered by the false prophets in Judea. And it wasn’t even close. Naturally, they scorned Jeremiah’s word to repent and return to God in obedience, before it was too late, so when Jeremiah spoke the actual words of God, all he heard was, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears” (Jer 26:11), but even facing the threat of death, Jeremiah didn’t back down or compromise his message from God. He didn’t water it down for the times he lived in, and he didn’t leave anything out just because they refused to hear or wouldn’t like it. Instead, he warned them that they should “know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears” (Jer 26:15). God tried to warn them to “not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon” (Jer 27:9), but they refused to listen and in time, they were proven to be false prophets and Jeremiah proved to be a true prophet of God. By then, it was too late. God said, “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied” (Jer 23:21). I am not suggesting that all politicians are like false prophets, however today, many are prophesying things to come true, but they are running for office.
False Prophets and Politicians
I believe prophets and politicians have a lot in common. They are supposed to speak for the common good of the people. They are to tell what is true. They are to give people hope, but then there is another similarity. The false prophet and politician work in the same way. They promise what they themselves cannot deliver. They speak about huge problems but offer little in solutions. Politicians may wrap themselves in the flag just as a false prophet claims to speak the Word of God, but their promises are rarely kept, and the huge problems they talk about are too big for even them to handle. For example, in dealing with a state that’s near its debt ceiling, how can the governor promise to lower taxes while creating more school funding? They offer dozens of solutions for various problems, and yet they don’t tell us how they’ll do it or fund it. The old joke about knowing when a fisherman is lying; when his or her lips are moving, could nearly be said of those who are holding political office today. I am not saying every politician is like a false prophet, but I believe many are. They promise the moon, but have no idea how to deliver it.
Jesus warned us about false prophets more than once, but I wonder why He never warned us about false politicians…or politicians who make false claims or boast about what they’ll do in the future. He warned us to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matt 7:15-16)? Remember that Satan has his own ministers, but they don’t look like ministers of Satan but rather appear as angels of light. The Apostle Paul said it is “no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Cor 11:14-15). It is the same thing with many politicians. They only have their best interests in mind…and that is getting elected or reelected for the 50th time! But…“their end will correspond to their deeds.” Or, they will be known by their fruits, good or bad. They might disguise their campaigns to look like “angels of light” who can rescue the nation/state/city, but they only “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” and not servants of the public. The Apostle Peter said that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet 2:1). One of the signs of Jesus’ return is that “many false prophets will arise and lead many astray” (Matt 24:11). Again, that sounds very much like politics today. Early on, Germany embraced the charismatic Hitler because he looked like he was going to save Germany from financial ruin, but he ended up destroying much of the nation that he had promised to save.
Even though there are trustworthy politicians, and we can’t make sweeping generalizations about everyone in office, truly there is a similarity between the false prophets of the Old Testament and the politicians of today. It could almost be said of them, that “they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you” (Jer 27:15). Politicians can promise us the moon, but if they are promising more than they can deliver, then they are not much different from the false prophets who often said, “We are blessed. Things will be good. Just trust me. God spoke to me.” That in itself is a red flag for me because God has already spoken to us through Christ and the Apostles and Prophets (Heb 1:1-2; Jude 1:3).
Here is a promise you can really believe because He has the ability to carry it out. God says that “if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field” (Deut 28:1-3), and this is true no matter what anyone says, politicians included.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.