BARREN OR FRUIT-BEARING?

Saturday, 13 June 2020 Jeremiah 17:1-18



“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…….and never fails to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8


Jeremiah was a prophet chosen by God to speak His words to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5) and spent much of his time weeping over the fate of his own land. For 40 years he served as God’s spokesman for the southern kingdom, Judah. Unfortunately no one was willing to listen. He was threatened, beaten and thrown to prison (Jer. 37:15, 16) and to a cistern (Jer. 38:6). But throughout his life, he boldly stood alone proclaiming God’s message of judgement to his own people and nation, yet foretold God would one day restore His people.


When you view through the lens of the world, Jeremiah may not be a successful person. But in God’s eyes he was one of the most successful people in history. The criteria of success in God’s eyes are not any physical things but obedience and faithfulness in the midst of trials and oppositions.


People of Judah were trusting in false gods and military alliances rather than trusting in the Holy One of Israel. They went after wisdom and power of men. This is what the LORD says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5) This led them to barrenness and unfruitful state. On the other hand Jeremiah17: 7&8 highlights that those who put their trust in the LORD, flourish like trees planted by the water (Psalm 1). They will receive abundant strength from the Lord which in turn will strengthen others too.


Though God had given His people the Law and Prophets and a rich history filled with miracles, still they continued to sin because the heart is deceitful (V. 9). Jeremiah concludes his prediction with the expression in V.13 which says: “those who turn away from you [the LORD] will be written in the dust” – (unlike those engraved in the rock- Job19:24). Anything written on the sand will be quickly obliterated. This is a clear warning highlighting the threat on the existence of those who forsake God. Apostle Peter writes in 2Peter 3:10-11 that the whole earth is kept for fire. People who identify themselves with the world, turn away from God and forsake Him are destined for eternal fire in hell.


When the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law brought before Jesus, the woman caught in adultery, we see Him stooping down and writing on the ground (John 8:8). It is God’s role to judge but our part is to have compassion and forgive. Jesus forgave her sin and gave her a second chance in life. It is very easy to fall into temptation and sin, but are we really seeking God to overcome it? He is faithful to help us in the time of our need if we turn from sin and trust Him.


Looking at your life – Have you turned away from God and His Word and instead put your trust in man which had led to an unfruitful state? If so, make every effort put your confidence in the Lord and to walk in obedience to Him so that your life will be rooted in Him. Then you will be like a well-watered tree bearing fruit for the Lord!


Prayer: Heavenly Father help me to put my trust in You to receive that abundant strength for a fruitful life. Amen

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