Monday, August 11, 2008

Deceitful!

August 11: Jeremiah 14-17

19 O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,

my refuge in the day of trouble,
to you shall the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies,
worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can man make for himself gods?
Such are not gods!”

21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”

Jeremiah 16:19-21

5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Jeremiah 17:5-10

Deceitful!

Look at the two contrasts that the Lord uses in today's reading from Jeremiah 17.

The man who trusts in man, is like a shrub in the desert, but the man who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by the water.

5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land
.


7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”


Just ponder these two contrasts for a moment. Then, take a moment to look upon your own heart. In your heart of hearts, what do you find? Do you trust in man and the things of man: his great accomplishments, his inventiveness, his powerful armies, his wealth, and especially the "good" in his heart. Or are you like the tree by the water; your trust is in the Lord alone.

It is harder than you think to examine your own heart. Jeremiah 17:9, in the King James Version says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The time will come when God will make known His power and might to all the nations. "Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”

Do not wait until that time, but, rather, pray that you can say now with Jeremiah, O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble.

God Bless You,
Linda

Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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