Here we have in the examples of Jeremiah and Hananiah two kinds of prophets, One spoke what God wanted him to say despite of what it would cost him personally as a result; while the second spoke what his audience wished to hear. Jeremiah wore the yoke and bonds,- a contraption used on oxen while plowing the land, consisting of wooden yoke and ropes or things of leather for tying it together. He was literally a beast of burden for his Master. It is what a prophet of God is called to perform. His will is taken away and instead he is bound over for performing as God would want. When Hananiah broke the yoke he interfered with the will of God. It was a public act, born out of pride to defy God whose message ran counter to what he was trying to impose instead. God had predicted 70 years of exile. Hananiah contradicts it and it was blasphemy pure and simple. He says “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon./ Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord‘s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:/ And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon(vv.2-4). It brought swift judgment on the false prophet.
Here we have precisely two ministries in which message is without any dilution as God wanted Jeremiah to speak. Whereas Hananiah added his own thereby changing the entire complexion of Truth. Finger of God as presented by Jesus Christ epitomizes faith of God to which he is totally submerged. Instead Osteens of the world say, ‘faith activates God’. ‘Who is running who? It is thus televangelists in our present age make a circus of the words of holiness and promise ‘When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.’ Hananiah in his day broke the wooden yoke in a public show of his credentials. That merited rebuke from God who said,” Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron./ For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.” A tree is known by his fruits. The Christian world largely today is as misguided as the nation of Israel was at the time of Jeremiah and their itching ears seek wealth and flock after all charlatans who promise cure. Joel Osteen, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts and great many of them are in the fray. God shall not be mocked. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape./ But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief./ Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness./ Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober(1 Thess5:3-6)”.
And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord‘s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:
4 And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the Lord,
6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the Lord do so: the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord‘s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.
7 Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;
8 The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it.
11 And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
12 Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.
14 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.
17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.