Reflection on Jeremiah 17:10
God sees the heart—our true motives. God knows our deeds—good and bad, and from what motives they spring.
God is just: He judges rightly what we deserve. Yet, He is inconceivably merciful: withholding the punishment our sins deserve in order to restore us.
In this passage, Israel is deep in sin, and a day of disaster is coming. Yet, God is merciful.
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… But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 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.” … The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” … Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water. Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.Jeremiah 17:5, 7-10, 13-14 (NIV)
God tells us: cursed is the one who trusts in mere humans, in what we can do, in oneself instead of in Him. But blessed is the one whose faith is in God, for he/she will be “well-watered”, fruitful, and prosper. …Isn’t that true? This isn’t about rewards and punishment, it’s about the reality we experience when we trust in Him vs. when we trust in something else.
“The heart is deceitful above all things…” What is this comment about? I think one thing it’s pointing at is how we (all humans) though we may know what is good, fail to act on it. Though we know it is good and right and the source of our very life & well-being to trust in God alone, we still turn to so many other things. We still fail to trust in the Most High god, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. We still allow our hearts to be deceived, to trust in another. And we do this time and time again, hence “and beyond cure.” Who can understand it?!
Apparently, the Lord. “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind.”
He is the hope of Israel. He is the hope of the nations—of us all. Why would we turn away from God, why would we forsake Him? He is the eternal spring, the spring of living water.
And He is ever so patient and merciful. Every time Israel forsakes God, God brings them back to Himself, no matter the cost. Jesus is the apex and fullest revelation of that mercy.
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. We need His healing, his salvation.