“They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11).
God, through the prophet Jeremiah and others, had warned Judah that if they did not amend their ways, then captivity would come (e.g. Jeremiah 7:1-15; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16). They did not listen. Seventy years of captivity was promised (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10).
False prophets provided a false sense of security. They preached “Peace, peace!” even when the coming destruction was at the door. Moreover, even after some had been taken into captivity, a false prophet named Hananiah told the people that God said, ‘I have broken the yoke of the King of Babylon. Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD’S house, that Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the Son of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,’ says the LORD, ‘for I will break the yoke of the King of Babylon'” (Jeremiah 28:2-4). It was a lie. The worst had not yet come to Judah. Seven years later, Jerusalem would be destroyed and all but the very poor would be removed from the land (Jeremiah 28:1 cf. 39:1-10).
Why did the people listen to these false promises of peace? It seems likely that they listened because they were hearing what they wanted to hear. Many in Isaiah’s day said, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). Paul told Timothy that there would be those who “will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Let us make sure that we truly have peace with God. We do not want to be like these who believed, “Peace, peace!” – when there was no peace.