Lord Jesus, Your Word has power. May Your powerful Word work powerfully in me as I read it today.
Read JEREMIAH 17:5-18
 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.  “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?  “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”  Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool.  A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.  O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.  Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.  They keep saying to me, “Where is the word of the LORD? Let it now be fulfilled!”  I have not run away from being your shepherd; you know I have not desired the day of despair. What passes my lips is open before you.  Do not be a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster.  Let my persecutors be put to shame, but keep me from shame; let them be terrified, but keep me from terror. Bring on them the day of disaster; destroy them with double destruction. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow are two types of persons contrasted here?
What was your country like in 1600 AD? Think how it’s changed and what has stayed the same. Are we any better than our ancestors? If you’ve been reading Samson’s story this week, today’s passage takes us forward 500 years. For a short while the kingdom of Israel was united under Saul, David and Solomon, but for much longer it was divided into two unequal halves: Israel and Judah. By 600 BC, each had a king, a capital city and a temple. But although, constitutionally, things had changed, the people’s attitude towards God was the same as ever. They were no better than their ancestors. They had no sense of awe (15).
Jeremiah’s task was to be a thorn in Judah’s side, constantly challenging people to be loyal to God. As you read this conversation, listen for his voice (12-18) in response to the voice of the Lord (5-11). Here is a man who was completely on God’s side, championing his cause, like a tree drawing strength from God’s fresh water stream (13). Here is a man whose name, clearly, has not disappeared in the dust. Do we need another Jeremiah today?
How are you being or becoming like the man in this passage who trusts in God? Pray to be more so.
Lord, I want to draw strength from You as a tree does from water. Help me to rely fully on You.