Summary: 7 of ? The prophet Jeremiah contrasted two major aspects of Independence—Independence from God versus independence from the world. Dependence upon YHWH brings independence from worldly influence. How can I be independent of worldly influence? A Healthy Independence Engages...
HEALTHY INDEPENDENCE-VII—Jeremiah 17:1-14
A gastroenterologist goes to return some books he borrowed from the library... After checking the doctor’s books in, the librarian snidely quips...
"Sir your books are always returned with the last page missing in every single book..."
The gastroenterologist replies, “I’m sincerely sorry ma’am. I’ve sought all sorts of professional help for that problem...But I can't seem to keep myself from removing an ‘appendix’ whenever I see one.”
The gastroenterologist needed to find a healthy independence from his compulsion!
?Are you living INDEPENDENTLY of that which has potential to destroy you?
The prophet Jeremiah contrasted two major aspects of Independence—Independence from God versus independence from the world.
*Dependence upon YHWH brings independence from worldly influence.
What can be gleaned by contrasting healthy & unhealthy independence?
*How can I be independent of worldly influence?
So far we’ve found that A Healthy Independence Engages(deals with/handles/manages)...
1. A RESIDENT REBELLION(:1)
2. An ABERRANT EDUCATION(:2)
3. BLINDLY SIGHTED BENEFITS(:3-4)
4. An ANGERING LIFESTYLE(:4e)
5. MISPLACED/Aberrant TRUSTS(:5)
6. The ‘CURSE’ Of MISPLACED/Aberrant TRUST(:6)
7. A CORRECTED TRUST(:7)
8. A TELLING PLANTING(:8)
9—A Healthy Independence Engages(deals with/handles/manages)...
:9—“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
This verse particularly voices an intensely legitimate concern one may have with such utterly polarizing separations as ‘the “cursed”’ versus ‘the “blessed”’ of :5-6 & 7-8.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,”—
“The heart”(of man/mankind/humanity) is descriptive of man at his very center...the core of his being. In that place, at the very core of every person, lies an inherent push & pull toward “deceitfulness.” Man tends toward an insidious self-destruction of “deceit”, which gathers others into its vortex &/or displaces those it its wake. Everything else considered, the human “heart’s” inherent deceitfulness overshadows “all” that can be said of & which is true of the human heart. That is why Jesus had to die in man’s(my) place!
“And desperately wicked;”—
The human “heart” is not only inherently “deceitful”, but it is also ‘incurably’ “deceitful”(“desperately”). That is, “the human heart has an unlimited capacity for wickedness & deceit so that human resources are incapable of dealing with it.”—F. B. Huey, Jr. in NAC[NAC]/Charles E. Feinberg in EBC[EBC]
•There is absolutely no ‘cure’ for the deceitful heart that can arise from human invention—No...philosophy, religion, substance, labor, business, institution, philanthropy, good deeds, etc.. There is no human cure for the human heart. There is never a time when mankind’s “heart” is not inherently ‘sick.’
Mankind’s innate sickness is so complete that when he is in the zone/throes of it, it ‘naturally’ invites “wickedness”(God’s determining) to himself, to others, & to his world.
•You & I are so sinful that without God at the helm of our lives, even on our best day—at the top of our game—we can only work “wickedness.”
“Who can know it?”—
On top of mankind’s unavoidably desperate bout with “wickedness”, & as a result of it, there is no one who can truly “know” or discern with accuracy, the crooked paths of his/her own heart’s “deceptions.”
1Cor. 10:6-12—“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they[Israel] also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat & drink, & rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, & in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, & were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, & were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, & they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Thus is laid out for us, what one author calls, “the innate depravity of the human heart.”—EBC
•And that ‘flies in the face of’ worldly thinking, which holds that people are intrinsically ‘good.’
“The sins of others are always more shocking to us than our own sins. We are always able to “contextualize” our sins, to find justifications for them, to weigh them against alternative sins we aren’t committing. That’s part of the power of deception.”—Russell Moore(8th president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC) in ‘What To Do When a Pastor Falls'
Mat. 7:1-5—“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; & with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; & look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, & then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”