Summary: Jeremiah believes its the heart that is cheating God and the only cure is The Balm "Jesus Christ".
“You’re Cheating Heart” Jeremiah 17:5-11
Hank Williams’ wrote a song called you’re cheating heart you remember The first two stanzas go like this:
Your cheatin’ heart Will make you weep. You’ll cry and cry And try to sleep.
But sleep won’t come The whole night through. Your cheatin’ heart Will tell on you
There are so many types of hearts out there that we might say are Cheating hearts
• The Evil Heart 5The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
• Jesus said, The Hearts of the religious leaders were (A Fountain Full of Evil) . 34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. What is in us wow
• There is the Wayward Heart King Rehoboam had a Wayward Heart 13King Rehoboam . 14He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.
• PAUL describes the folks throughout history as having a Foolish Heart or Blind Heart Romans 1:21For although they knew God, they never glorified God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
1. Jeremiah believes everyone has a cheating heart
• He says, “the heart is devious above all else” “it is perverted who can understand it.”
• He noted how evil the heart of the people of Judah was. Their hearts were kind of like the hearts of people in Genesis 6: 5The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
• John Knox a Scottish reformer in the15th century founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland he said, referring to original sin — “The image of God was utterly defaced in man, and he and his children became by nature hostile to God, slaves to Satan and servants to sin” (Scots Confession 3.03). Definitely he believed in a cheating heart
2. Check out what happened to the hearts in Jeremiah day
• The hearts of the people start worshipping foreign Gods vs 2 They are falling into all types immorality the ruler does nothing but enjoy his self-indulgent pleasures within the palace.
3. There are some hearts who do Trust in mortal Man and some hearts trust in God
• Consider the hearts that trust in mortal man vs 5 they are like a desert plant that wilts and dies under the blazing sun. This is the picture of the one (believer or not) who trusts in man instead of the LORD; they are dry and unsustainable.
• Now consider the hearts that trust in God vs 7 these hearts are sunk deep in well watered soil and flourishes. The heart who trusts in the LORD will be like a tree planted by the waters, whose leaf will be green. Jeremiah drew on the images of Psalm 1, where the blessed man is the one who delights in God’s word (Psalm 1:1-3.
• The person who trusts in human beings will end up like a shriveled bush (verse 6), while the person who trusts God will be like a tree that has its roots sunk deep beside a stream (verse 8).
4. How can we fix this heart of mine how do we heal the sin-sick soul or fix this cheating heart?
• Jeremiah says, . “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” Is there no doctor in the house
• When Jeremiah asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead. It was an ointment, and was good for all kinds of ailments. You could say it was the Vicks Vapor Rub of the day —
• Jeremiah asks “is there anything that can bring true healing to this wayward and ailing people?”
• There is, in fact, such a cure. We know it in the Christian tradition as the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
• The African slaves of the American South knew of this cure, perhaps better than we. Held captive and oppressed all their days, laboring under the lash of the overseer, they were allowed to sing some spiritual songs as they worked. One of them is the beloved hymn based on Jeremiah 8:22,