JEREMIAH 17:7-8: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Am I trusting in the Lord? Jeremiah seems to recite Psalm 1 almost to the word as he writes this exhortation from the Lord. In verse 7 he repeats the call to trust in the Lord – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord.” What is the purpose of this double emphasis?
In the Hebrew there are two different words that are translated “trust” in verse 7. The first word means hope, confidence, and boldness. This speaks of the focus of our faith. Blessed is the man who does not trust in himself, or man (see verses 5-6), but his trust is in the living God, in the Lord alone! Yet, it is possible to trust in the Lord, and at the same time not be trusting in the Lord. The second word, more appropriately translated “hope” in the New King James, means to actively take refuge, to confide, to find security. It is not simply believing something, it is acting on that belief.
I find many times that there is a gap between my “belief” and my “actions”. This is the age old tension between faith and works. Faith can be defined as believing something so much it causes you to act. When I face great difficulty and struggle, what do I do? It is one thing to trust in the Lord in my heart. However, it is quite another to take refuge in Him, to confide in Him, to abide in His Word and in prayer until the victory comes from His hand of provision. Many times, when I find myself “waiting” on God’s timing, I begin to lean once again on my own understanding and I am tempted to trust once again in my own human effort.
It takes trust to keep on trusting!
These words have even more import because they are written in the midst of prophetic words of judgment against the nation of Judah. We can find great hope in knowing that even in the midst of judgment – God will always protect and care for the one who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord! Jeremiah proclaims the promise of the Lord – “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Note the striking comparisons. He does not fear when heat comes? Why? Because his roots (faith, trust) run deeps into the streams of God’s Word and Love. His leaves remain green and he continues to be fruitful in his life. Even when drought (judgment) comes, he continues to trust in the Lord. Why? Because his sustenance does not depend on anything from without. His strength and sustenance comes from within, a life in the Spirit, a life anchored and nourished by God’s unchanging Word. If there was ever a time we needed to hear this promise it is in the day that we live!
The Message translation states verse 7 this way – “But blessed is the man who trusts me, GOD, the woman who sticks with GOD. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 MSG) Lord, help me to not only “believe” in You, but to “stick” to You through all of life’s challenges and changes. Let me take refuge in You alone!
Help me trust in You…and keep on trusting!
In Jesus Name!