Jeremiah 17

Sinning willfully and consistently leaves an imprint on one’s heart and mind that becomes very difficult to remove from one’s stony heart, vs 1.

Our children get negatively affected by this too, vs 2, and it will eventually result in great loss of our spiritual inheritance, vs 3,4!

This lifestyle comes about as a result of trusting in man instead of trusting in God, vs 5. It makes one’s life lifeless and dry, leaving one with no realisation of the many blessings of the goodness that God has been showering on us, vs 6, but rather we are often found complaining and discontent about our lot in life!

Thus we are left unrepentant and hardhearted! It also makes us use our minds and efforts to gain wealth unjustly, because we have put our trust in it, while failing to realise that before our life is half over we will lose our ill-gotten gains, and at the end of our life it will be clear that we were fools, vs 11! God will judge us on the basis of the thoughts and intents of our hearts, vs 10, so we need to beware of imagining that we are trusting in Him with our hearts, while continuing to exhibit the negative character traits mentioned above, for our hearts can easily deceive us, 9.

If we are to be like those who trust in the Lord with all our hearts, then we all need to honestly repent of our hardhearted, sin-loving and adulteress ways. Our ability to remain fresh and fearless in times of drought and also show forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit in all seasons of life will bear witness to the fact that we have indeed made God, and not mammon, our trust, vs 7,8.

God is eternal and a secure place of refuge for all who trust in Him and who reveal that they indeed do so by walking in obedience to His commands during all seasons of life. However, those who do what they please, will suffer shame and disgrace eventually, vs 12,13. As Jeremiah shared these truths with the people, he was met with suffering, mocking and persecution. However, instead of taking his own revenge, he asked God to regard his condition and deliver him, while also dealing drastically with his persecutors, vs 14-18. Another matter which Jeremiah conveyed to the people was in relation to keeping the Sabbath, vs 19-27. No work or business was to be done on that day, signifying the humbling of oneself before the Lord and seeking His strength to do all things in line with His perfect will.

The consequences of breaking the Sabbath law was sure destruction, vs 27, while obeying this law would ensure the prosperity of the Nation and multiplication of the people, and the people would be encouraged to bring their offerings unto the Lord and thus worship Him in spirit and truth, instead of worshipping mammon, vs 25,26!

Let us use this opportunity to cleanse our hearts from all defilement of flesh and spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of God. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.