“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not 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. “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 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.”
Jeremiah 17:5-10 NKJV
Chaos reigns. There is no order to the world we are living in, as everything appears up for grabs, nothing set, all open to interpretation. All of this has led to an increasing stress in people, and a desperate desire to seek any answer or solution one can find. Many are looking to people for their solutions, as self help books jump off the shelves, and anxious people look for leaders who can make things great again.
Time and time again, there is disappointment, as those entrusted for societal and cultural salvation, come up short. The people we rely on are desperately wicked. There are no good people, only people who have not been tested. All of us have the potential to do evil things in times of pressure or external threat.
“It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in princes.”
Psalms 118:8-9 NKJV
Reading through Jeremiah chapter 17 this morning, I was reminded me of a lesson I have learned time and time again: people will fail you, God will not. As I read, I couldn’t help but reflect on Psalm 1, of kind of person who trusts in the Lord and does not seek the counsel of mere men.
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV
There is indeed a curse in relying on people to bring natural solutions to supernatural problems. Many of the problems we are facing in our culture cannot be solved through legislation, through movement or court action. They can only be brought about through the transformation of the human heart.
It is only the Lord that can transform, as He saves the sinner and replaces his dead spirit with the Holy Spirit, providing the power to change.
I speak as a sinner, one transformed, one so low and so filthy, that only the mighty power of God to make the difference. In my life, before Jesus, I was as a tree planted in brine, dead, dried, and good for nothing.
No other faith on this planet features a God who died to save the sinner, who rose from the grave, and then in dwelt those He has saved, to give them the power to live godly in the world. Jesus changed my brine into a fresh flowing river, feeding my roots, that I be planted securely to glorify Him.
In coming into the faith, I was not one to be included into the “holy huddle”, not one invited into homes, small groups, or included in the social circles, as I was superficially different from all the others. I was one merely tolerated. But in Jesus, I found full acceptance, a loving embrace, as I clung to Him. Amazingly, He clung to me, and I have never been alone.
Brothers and sisters, you may be one who feels excluded, one rejected, but know this: Jesus will not exclude you, He will not reject you. All too often we lump the foibles of flesh and blood people in with our perception of God. We let the toxicity of faulty followers and churches color our view of God.
I learned to focus my attention squarely on Jesus. Focus on Him, my people.
In the coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps years, we will witness a complete rejection of God and His people. In some cases, there will be an outright attack on all things holy. We will need to endure.
I can tell you that many will fall away, in fact it has already begun. Almost daily I see a post in social media of people who have turned from the faith, or, most often never had it to begin with.
““If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
John 15:18-21 NKJV
But we are trees planted by the river. We abide and drink from the living water, whose source never runs dry. There will be no drought for us, the sun will not burn us, nor shall the heat. The Lord is our cover, our shade.
“The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.”
Psalms 121:5-8 NKJV
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3 thoughts on “Planted”
Jeremiah 17:5-10 jumped out to me in a powerful way! Thanks so much for sharing that Bernie. It made me think of Romans 8: 5 – 11.
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I am praying for you Bernie! Hope you have a great day.
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