So yeah did you see that Day two thing in the title GRRRRR! It has been a rough two weeks. We have been crazy Busy a snap shot of exactly what that looks like will be in tomorrows post, but for today we are going to talk all about Jeremiah.
Jeremiah has some passages that in my own personal life have brought great peace in moments of great trial. But whenever dealing with an Old Testament book we MUST MUST MUST remember that these promises, we so often like to claim, are written for the Israelites. We have a different set of promises mapped out in the New Testament and we must be VERY careful not to try to take what was promised to Israel and claim it as out own. That is replacement theology and dangerous territory. Now that my disclaimer is over, I want you to understand that I am not addressing a promise from Jeremiah BUT it is a description. More specifically it is the description of the person who has confidence in the Lord.
A Visit with Jeremiah
Let’s talk just a minute about the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a major prophet. This does not mean he is more important than the minor prophets. it just means that the book itself is bigger than the minor prophet books. Jeremiah was often times referred to as a prophet of doom relating to the prophecies he told about the impending exile. He is also referred to as the “weeping prophet.” we have the most detail about this prophet because of his transparency through his writings. He often shares his innermost thoughts about God, his enemies and his own thoughts of himself.
First the Cursed- Jeremiah 17:5-6
Actually verses 7 and 8 are the second part of a comparison God is making.Verses 5 and 6 start the comparison by saying:
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
The Lord lays out what exactly is considered cursed.
- the one who trusts in man,
- who draws strength from mere flesh
- whose heart turns away from the Lord.
Those all come from verse 5. so then in verse 6 we see what will happen to such cursed people:
- That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
- They will not see prosperity when it comes.
- They will dwell in the parched places of the desert in a salt land where no one lives.
We know from both history and the Bible that the Israelites lived in a wonderful promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. and yet they were about to be kicked out because of their continued disobedience to God.
Then the Blessed- Jeremiah 17:7-8
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They 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.”
In contrast, God goes on to show us who the blessed one is: This in’t a promise of blessing. This isn’t a “if you do the right thing you are going to be rich” sort of thing.
So what does this blessed one look like?
- They trust in the Lord
- Their confidence is in Him
The analogy of a tree planted by water is not a new concept. David talks about a similar type tree in Psalm 1. This blessed person is saturated like a tree planted by the water. Saturated in the relationship with God. Their heart fully trusts Him for all of their needs. Because heat will come. Notice it does not say in the verse “if heat comes” but rather it says “when heat comes.” It is expected. And it does NOT fear the heat! It has NO worries in the year of a drought. And yet in the midst of the heat and the drought it still never fails to bear fruit.
So many times when we struggle we sit back and throw ourselves a pity party of sorts (I am so guilty of this myself).
A “woe is me” sort of attitude.
Look at how awful this is. To quote one of my favorite movies “we can’t see past the nose on our own face.” we don’t look to God and acknowledge our trust that he has this! he knows the outcome and whatever it is it’s ok with us. Instead we have to “figure things out.” “we have to find the answers.” ” we have to talk to the right people.”
So how does this apply to little ole me?
I am a fixer by nature.
- I want to fix things.
- I want to fix circumstances
- I want to fix people
But here is the thing, and I know it’s gonna shock you all…..Ready for it….
I’M NOT GOD!! Go figure! So here is the thing.
If I give all of my junk over to God. All of the control. All of my fears. All of my worries. All of my stress. and I drink deeply from the stream of His word and I work to have this amazing relationship with Him. I will be blessed. Not because I have self-confidence, because that has fears and worries. But instead I have God-fidence which gives all of my fears and worries to Him and I live blessed, like Jeremiah, in a relationship with God.