Monday, March 8, 2010

Jeremiah 15-17: Our hope is in you!

From the very beginning, when God created the earth, when he formed the sea, when he shaped man in his own image, it was clear that God desired a unique relationship with Adam and Eve.

We know the story. God gave them one rule. He told them they could eat the fruit from any tree in the garden except one. And they disobeyed God, damaging their relationship with God.

The rest of the Old Testament tells the story of God reaching out to humanity, offering opportunity to restore the relationship, and man rejecting God's overtures. It seems we want his deliverance, but, like Adam and Eve, the desire to have our eyes opened, to "be like God" (Genesis 3:4) is just too great, and we reject him again.

Jeremiah contrasts two types of people. He says, "Cursed is the man who trust in himself, or in other men, whose heart turns away from the Lord God." (17:5) He is like a bush in the wasteland; his life is like a desert. I've seen these bushes in the canyons of San Diego. Right now, we have rain, and the canyons are green and beautiful, but as soon as the rains stop, the bushes die. The canyons turn brown.

But, ". . . blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream." What an amazing picture. When the heat comes, the tree continues to thrive; " . . . it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (17:8) This tree's roots go deep, extending to the river, drawing life from the river rather than external circumstances.

A dead bush in the desert or a lush fruitful tree near the river.
I know which one I want to be.

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