Todays readings.. 2 Samuel 13, Jeremiah 17, Matthew 28
“BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO … ”
It is our chapter in Jeremiah that particularly jumps out for our mediation today, but first we read the sad story of the trouble that developed in the family of David following his sin with Bathsheba and her husband, adultery and murder! God “put away” [2 Sam. 12 v.13] David’s sin, in the sense he did not suffer the penalty decreed under the law; but he suffered the consequences, his authority with his family had been undermined.
However, the words of Paul come to mind, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” [Rom. 8 v.28] This applies to even bad things and in this case they caused David to pen some meaningful Psalms, prayers (e.g. Psalm 40) that have been a solace and inspiration to sinners down through the centuries.
How parallel to these lessons are the words the LORD inspired Jeremiah to write we read today in his 17th chapter. ” “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.” [v.5] The next verse is a mini-parable, “He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places … salt land.” Our world is becoming such a land, so little spiritual food is growing. Israel had become like this and how agonising life had become for Jeremiah! And is becoming for us!
Jeremiah’s next verse provides the inspiration we need – if we are to survive in the “parched places” that surround us. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. ” There are two statements there – notice the difference!?
Those whose trust is “in the LORD” are invited to develop a relationship so that their “trust is the LORD“ Our thoughts go to David’s Psalm 40, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust …” [v.4] And how many, who reach our stage in life, can make Psalm 71 v. 5-9 their prayer?
We live in a world, where, more than ever, v. 9 of our Jeremiah chapter, is so woefully true! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick …” Let us remain healthy in mind being fully conscious that “the LORD search(es) the heart and test(s) the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” [v.10] Oh the wonder to come for those who are among the “blessed … who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.”