Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. … But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. Jeremiah 17:5, 7 (NLT)
What a contrast between those who trust in people and those who trust in the Lord. Jeremiah paints a vivid word picture in this passage, portraying those who trust in mere human beings for support and strength as stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future, living in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. (Vs. 6)
In contrast, those who trust in the Lord are painted as trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. (Vs. 8)
The prophet was confronting the people of his day for putting their trust in the wrong source. Judah was being threatened by outside forces; but, instead of trusting the Lord, they were seeking protection and support from foreign military alliances and false gods. Any wonder why they were barren and unfruitful? When you find yourself in times of trouble, in whom do you trust? Our currency says, “In God we trust.” Do we? Jeremiah says that those who trust in the Lord are blessed, but those who trust in men are stressed and spiritually weak. This is the same contrast that the Psalmist made in Psalm 1 where the Psalmist says,
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way
of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and
on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does
prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore
the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will
In whom do you trust? If you’re living an unfruitful life, in a barren wilderness with no hope for the future, the good news is that you can move. Move out into the adventure of faith putting your trust in the Lord. Like a well-watered tree, you will have strength for times of crisis and fruit to share with others.