Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.
(Jeremiah 17:7 NKJV)
In chapter 17 of Jeremiah two discourses are distinguished: that of the Lord that the prophet will communicate to the people of Judah in the cities of Jerusalem, warning them of the imminent Babylonian deportation and the speaking of the prophet with God who is intertwined with the first discourse. Some words of Jeremiah express the feelings connected to his service, they reveal the humanity of a person called to a holy service. "Here, they tell me: Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now!" (17:15). The difficulty of those called to speak in the name of God is to believe that what has been proclaimed proceeds from Above and will be fulfilled. The announcer would like a demonstration of what is revealed simultaneously. Those who are called to the announcement must not let themselves be conditioned by external voices or seek their consent, but remain faithful to the One who called them, having the certainty that His word never falls empty and will be fulfilled at the right time. The text admonishes: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord" (17:5). When one begins to trust in the creature, and no longer in the Creator, a god is created on a human scale, which has the appearance of another human being.
Just when situations arise which seem to be the opposite of what God has announced, we are called to continue to trust in Him and not what He does, because He is our guarantee. Who trusts in Him "hall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not [a]fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit" (17:8). Such a tree even in times of drought (crisis and adversity) will have no concern. The enemy would want to make us cold and devoid of desire because of problems, but this is not the attitude to be taken. "Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth" (17:13a). This passage brings to mind when Jesus, in the episode of the adulterous woman, is bent to the ground intent on writing in the dust. It might lead us to suppose what Jesus was writing, to say that he made the list of the good and the bad, and among the first ones certainly the names of the woman's accusers did not appear. Those men thought they were serving God, but they had placed all their strength in their arms, ready to stand up and stone that woman who had committed a sin. Their strength, the Law, and their observance towards God was enclosed in an arm that rose to offend. Our arms, on the other hand, must get up only to praise God.
In a superficial way, we could be induced to endorse a way of saying and doing that is far from what may be the desire to "take root along the river of God". Many make their own the expression "follow your heart" and do not take into account that Scripture remembers that "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked" (17:9), since it is the seat of all our passions and carnal emotions. Even Paul reminded Timothy to escape from youthful passions. The prophet asks who is able to know the heart, and God answers him: "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings" (Geremia 17:10). The Lord does not prove our emotions but the thoughts of our mind. The apostle Paul, in his epistle, will say that we can have the mind of Christ, despite our thoughts are not those of God. In front of the consideration of what we are and our needs, there is a certainty: "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise" (Jeremiah 17:14).
Weekly Bible reading plan
October 14, Isaiah 43-44; 1 Thessalonians 2
October 15, Isaiah 45-46; 1 Thessalonians 3
October 16, Isaiah 47-49; 1 Thessalonians 4
October 17, Isaiah 50-52; 1 Thessalonians 5
October 18, Isaiah 53-55; 2 Thessalonians 1
October 19, Isaiah 56-58; 2 Thessalonians 2
October 20, Isaiah 59-61; 2 Thessalonians 3