Devotional: ‘Trying to Help God – Help Us’

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Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

One of Israel’s great sins was that they chose to rely upon the help of other foreign nations, rather than relying upon the help of the one true God. This decision angered the LORD and caused Him to say – “Cursed be the man that trusts in another man and who doesn’t seek the help of God. Such a man will end up like a desert bush that has been trying to grow in the barren land of the Dead Sea.”

In contrast to the cursed man, Jeremiah also spoke of the blessed man.

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Whereas God will punish the man who doesn’t trust in Him, He will bless the man who does. Those who humble themselves and seek God for His strength will be like a tree that is planted by the rivers of water. They will remain strong during every season of life and will prosper in all their ways.

Jeremiah’s words are very similar to those we find in Psalm 1.

Psalm 1:1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. 2 But they delight in doing everything the LORD wants; day and night they think about his law. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper. 4 But this is not true of the wicked. They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. NLT

Perhaps Jeremiah was thinking of this great psalm as he penned this portion of his prophecy. Perhaps he realized that the thoughts God gave to him were timeless truths that apply to every generation and situation.

The principle of trusting in God can also be seen in something that Jesus said about prayer:

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

I have often thought that there is one sure thing about praying in our closet –

When the blessings come –
we will know that they are from God,
and therefore He and He alone will receive all the glory

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