Populists have been around a long time in American politics. Charismatic figures like William Jennings Bryan at the turn of the 20th century, and Huey Long in the Depression Era 1930s, whipped crowds into a frenzy as they railed against big money corporate interests and the victimization of hard-working "real" Americans. Some positive things emerged from these platforms, but much of it was simply playing to the emotions of the people, connecting with their fears and misgivings about a society and system that had failed the common people.
Jeremiah 28 recounts a showdown between two prophets, Jeremiah and Hananiah. Jeremiah was commanded by God to wear a yoke around his neck in ch. 27. The wood yoke represents the yoke of God's punishment of God's people and the occupation of Judah by the Babylonian Empire. Hananiah promotes a prophecy declaring that now is the time to rise up in revolt, overthrow Babylonian rule, and restore the treasures being ransacked from the Temple. In essence, Hananiah believes not only that Judah's punishment was ready to end (already!) and that God would enable their victory.
Jeremiah chastizes Hananiah for his popular prophecy, that peace would be great, but God had promised punishment for a long time. It had finally arrived and would not be departing anytime soon.
Enraged at being called out by Jeremiah, Hananiah seizes the yoke from Jeremiah's neck and breaks it, repeating his claim that the punishment will soon be over.
If you don't know how that works out, check out the sermon (video).
A brief piece from Jesus' instructions to his disciples in Matthew 10 provides another clear insight into the unpopularity of God's word, even among God's people.
When God's word is popular, rather unpopular, we need to ask ourselves this question: Have we got it right? Get more insight form the sermon video below, and the downloads below the video panel.