The Blessed Man!
Scripture reading for August 9th: Jeremiah 16-20
Jeremiah was told by God not to marry or have children in Judah because of the terror of coming judgment. (Jeremiah 16:2-4) God was sending a great disaster upon His people that was coming because of their own wickedness. In the face of Jeremiah’s warnings, no one was listening or paying heed. They had become hard and stubborn and refused to repent and humbly follow God. They were hardened even further by the prophetic preaching of this true prophet!
At the heart of this people’s trouble was unbelief! “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.” (Jeremiah 17:5) Their sin nature made them the center of their own life and caused them to come under a curse. They depended on their flesh and man-made idols instead of the Lord who had shown Himself faithful and miraculously provided for them again and again.
But what about those who continue to trust in the Lord and remain faithful to Him in the midst of an idolatrous and humanistic society? Jeremiah speaks a word of encouragement to those who have ears to hear! “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 the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in the year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8) Faith keeps us connected with God, even in times of judgment and trouble. The coming drought and famine would bring misery and suffering to the land, but God would be the source of refreshing to His people.
This seems so simple that a child could understand it. However, man’s heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. (Jeremiah 17:9) The flesh is proud and wants to do things it’s own way. We have trouble discerning our motives. We who trust the Lord allow Him to search our hearts and deliver us from wrong thinking. We listen to His word and run to His throne of grace and mercy for help in time of need. We place our confidence in God Himself and our hope is in His unfailing love. Be blessed!