Summary: Jesus came to bring us abundant life and that life is found by placing our trust, our faith in the one true God.
A Shrub or a Tree
Text: Jeremiah 17:5-8
Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NASB) Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.
Consider the contrast:
I. The one in the desert, the other by the river.
A. The difference in the soil (the heart.)
1. Underneath the pictures is the thought that the direction of a man’s trust determines the whole cast of his life, because it determines, as it were, the soil in which he grows.
b. In reality, the desert shrub is meant for the desert but man was created for a trusting relationship with God.
c. We are built for God, and unless we recognize and act upon that conviction, we are like the prickly shrub in the desert, unable to utilize the good God has placed around us;
d. and if we do recognize and act upon it, there will be soil moist enough for us to draw refreshment and vitality from it.
e. Unless our roots go down into God we cannot find Goodness, unfailing strength, undeniable hope.
II. The one sees no good, the other fears no heat
A. Misplaced trust blinds us to all that is good.
1. God comes with eternal riches, and I would rather have more money. God comes with infinite spiritual love, and I prefer some temporary immoral love. God comes with good works for Him, and I would rather have a prosperous business for myself.
2. I cannot see good when it is there before my face, because I cannot see in the darkness of sin.
B. My trust must be in God.
1. The tree, that has driven its roots into God, is drawing from that deep source what is needful for life and fertility
a. This tree will not suffer, even when all the land is parched.
b. The man has no occasion to dread any evil, need not give over to anxiety when confronted with parched days.
c. Troubles may come, will come, but they do not go deeper than the surface and are no source of fear.
2. So the object of our trust, when it is right, shuts us out from fear but when it is wrong is shuts us out from all that is good.
III. One life will be sterile the other fruitful
A. The soil of the heart will determine the quality of the fruit
1. The one trusting in man will see nothing lasting from the desert of their life. None of their works will survive this world.
Hebrews 6:8 but if it (ground) yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
2. Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.