This morning I was struck by Jer. 17:5-8. In that passage Jeremiah is contrasting the “cursed” man with the “blessed” man. The context is one where Judah was in serious trouble. They had abandoned their allegiance to God and had embraced other gods. In addition, they were about to be invaded by the Babylonians and were trusting in Egypt to protect them.
Jeremiah says that those who trust in man are like a barren desert bush whereas those who trust in God always have the resources for life and are fruitful. Charles Dyer summarizes the situation well when he says,
“God indicated that a person who trusts in man for protection is cursed because his heart has turned away from God. Instead of prospering, he will wither away like a desert bush. God would make him as unfruitful as the barren salt land around the Dead Sea, unable to support life.
A righteous person is blessed because his confidence (trust) is in God. Unlike the person in verses 5–6, a righteous person will flourish like a tree planted by the water (cf. Ps. 1:3). When difficulties (represented figuratively by heat and drought) come, he will not fear. Instead he will continue to prosper like a tree that bears fruit and whose leaves remain green.”
Father, your Word clearly shows that the heat will come in life. The question is, “How will I respond?” Will I take things into my own hands and trust in others and myself, or will I first turn to you and then choose to trust in you as I actively follow you in the midst of the heat?
Thank you for showing me again today, that happiness is the byproduct of trusting in you regardless of my circumstances. May you be the allegiance of my heart and may I follow you when life gets hard, trusting in your resources and being fruitful as you work through me.
Following Jesus with you,