July 21: Jeremiah 17
Judges 4; Acts 8; Jeremiah 17; Mark 3
Israel sins against God not because of their circumstances but because of the condition of their hearts (1-3a). Thus God will give them what they want: they will be “led” by their gods, which will only lead to futility, poverty and loss (3b-4). Exodus tells us that God is slow to anger, and yet now in His righteous anger He will undo the Exodus and send His people into exile (4b).
Verses 5 through 10 portray the problem. Whenever any person turns their heart away from God, they/we don’t then trust in nothing. It’s then that we trust in anything: a politician, a successful businessman, ourselves - anyone (5). But doing so leads to “curse” (5a) - a sentence of destruction. Only God can meet our needs.
But we cannot see the heart. Thus we can only look at external circumstances. Under the heat of life - and everyone experiences “heat” - we should watch what grows up out of our heart. The heart that turns away from God will produce a barren life, like a desert thorn bush (6).
But the man who trusts in the Lord, he experiences the same heat, yet under that heat produces fruit (7) and fearlessness.
One heat, two possible trees. Yet the heart is desperately wicked (9); who can solve its darkness? Only God (10). Thus He will later provide a third tree and hang there Himself. There from His side will flow the water (8) we need for life.