Although Jeremiah suffers much, he stays bold before man because he was broken before God (15:10-21; 1:1-4,19-21;17:11-18;18:18-23). He tells Judah punishment is inevitable (15:1-9; 16:5-13; 17:1-4), but there's hope (16:14-18) and wisdom (17:5-10,19-27). Fact: our lives are in the hands of God (18:1-17)!
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (Jer. 17:9)?
This Scripture is one of the most commonly known verses in the Bible; it has been preached on often. We have heard these words too many times to count. This may even be a verse that we have memorized. Do we just know these words, or do we consider them in the daily walk of our lives? Do we truly understand the message God is sending us through Jeremiah's words?
At first glance, this verse is easy to interpret. Jeremiah is simply saying “don't trust your heart." That is true to a degree. However, this message goes a little deeper than just that. The majority of the time it will pay dividends to the soul to look closely at what the Word of God is saying. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (I Cor. 4:5).
There are some things about the word "deceitful" that will help us understand what Jeremiah is telling us. The Hebrew word here is "agob" pronounced aw-kobe. This word is used only three times in the Old Testament. It's original meaning was tied to that of a hill, or swelling.
One could ask the question, what does that have to do with the heart? If looked at in regards to the subject matter, it could be said that an underlying meaning of Jeremiah's words could be that the heart is also full of pride in one's self. This emotion would easily go hand in hand with the thought of deceitfulness. It could be said then that the heart is deceptive in order to bring about some personal gain.
It goes without saying then that our heart, in itself, can not be trusted. In today's terms we might say our heart is trying to "con" us. It is trying to direct us into some self-serving action. These actions will most likely bring something into our lives that is not good for us in any way. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matt. 15:18-19).
The areas our hearts are drawing us to may seem attractive on the outside, but we must always look deeper. Further examination will reveal that the things our hearts desire are deceptive and dangerous. If we walk down the road we are led, we will find ourselves in desperate need of help.
What is the answer then? The answer is heart surgery. Our hearts need to be transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. It is He, and He alone that can bring us out of the darkness into the light.
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me (Acts 26:18).
Thought for Today:
Do you, like Jeremiah, say, Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart (Jer. 15:16).
By Jeremiah's words to God: Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart (Jer. 15:16). Jesus said: The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life (John 6:63).
15:1 toward, favorable to; 15:6 repenting, grieving over and giving you another hance; 17:10 try the reins, test the heart; 18:11 frame, prepare; 18:15 in a way not cast up, on paths of sin, not ways of righteousness and honor.
Prayer Suggestion: When you are afraid, have confidence in and rely upon the Lord (Ps. 56:3-4).
Optional Reading: II Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 90:4