Summary: Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. By God’s grace, we experience His provision and constant help.
The prophet Jeremiah uses two contrasting pictures here to encourage us.
• He paints for us two pictures that are very different – a dried up bush and an ever-green tree.
• Jeremiah is contrasting two different types of people - "the one who trusts in man" (v.5), who he says will be like a bush in the wastelands, and he contrasts this person with "the man who trusts in the LORD" (v.7), whom he says will be like a tree planted by water.
Where they put their trust set them apart. Where is your trust?
• Jeremiah narrows it down to these two choices - is it in man or in God.
• Who do you trust today? We all have to put our trust in someone or something. Ultimately, you are relying upon something or someone in life.
• It might be God, or it might be someone else. For many people that trust is in themselves.
Jeremiah describes these two choices to us and explains the consequences of each.
• The word ‘trust’ here means to rely on something.
Those who trusts in man alone, is like the bush in the wastelands.
• It is not the same bush we see around Singapore, most are green, well-groomed.
• Jeremiah says this bush is found in the “parched places of the desert” (v.6b).
• It is something barely alive. It may not be dead, but it is struggling to stay alive.
• They are dry, they have no fruit.
The one who trusts in man, he explains, depends on the flesh for his strength.
• This is all we’ve got – the strength of our flesh. It is limited, it is weak.
• Jeremiah says it is foolish for man just to rely on himself or any man, for that matter. We are all frail.
• The older we get, the more we realize this fact – that we are feeble and weak.
People might not mean to fail you, but they often do not have the power not to.
• They wanted to help, but they could not. We are overwhelmed at most times by the circumstances that are beyond us.
• Even the strongest and the bravest fear and falter.
Jeremiah says man relies on something weak for strength. This is unwise.
• But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that such a mindset causes man not to rely on God.
• The next line says, his “heart turns away from the Lord.” He fails to acknowledge God.
• If God is absent, man becomes the lord of his own life.
This is why the Bible says man is sinful. Trust in God is something that God demands.
• When God reveals His way to the people of Israel by giving them the Ten Commandments (a summary of how you ought to live your life) – His very first commandment is: “You shall have no other gods.” (Exo 20:3).
• If God is God, then He demands obedience. Trusting Him is right and expected.
• If God is truly God and cannot be trusted, then who else can you trust?
We will be disappointed if we continue to place our trust in man and the things that only man can do.
• No wonder he looks more like a bush, living in a place where there is little life.
• Jeremiah says, “He will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives." (v. 6)
• He will be struggling through life. Life will just be all about survival. There is little meaning and purpose.
But Jeremiah went on to paint another picture. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." (v.7)
What a contrast! Not “cursed” but “blessed.”
• Blessed is this man who finds his strength in the LORD. If man is weak and sinful, then he needs to find his strength and righteousness somewhere else.
• In God, there is something that is sure and reliable.
• If it is foolish to put our trust in man, then it makes sense to trust the Lord, if He is truly God. Who else can you trust if you cannot even trust God?
But this is easily said than done. It is not easy to trust God, even though we know we ought to.
• When something happens, we are more of a bush in the wilderness than a tree by the stream.
• We are quick to put our confidence and our trust in ourselves and what we can do.
We turn to our own accomplishments, wisdom and successes to find happiness and security.
• We rely on our job and our pay cheque, and our future depends on the degree we hold.