Jeremiah 17:5-9 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD . He will be like a bush in the wastelands; 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. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD , whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
When the LORD God put Adam & Eve in the ‘very good’ Garden he had created especially for them, he provided any amount and variety of beautiful fruit to sustain them and bring them joy and pleasure (Genesis 2:8-16). But Satan had a ‘better’ and ‘wiser’ plan that didn’t include God’s ‘pointless’ restriction that denied them access to just one tree – ‘the tree of life’!
By going along with Satan’s much more ’reasonable’ plan, they were excluded from God’s Garden altogether, and we, as their descendants, have all inherited the ‘rebellion’ part of their DNA so that we fit the description our Creator gave to Jeremiah of the universal human heart: “deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”. If we are brutally honest, we can say “Amen” to his “Who can understand it?”. The logic he spells out about the difference between the ’fruit’ of doing things God’s way and doing things according to our own ‘human wisdom’ is undeniable to our minds, but we still let Satan influence our ‘incurable, deceitful hearts’.
Thankfully, our merciful, gracious God in Christ has already soundly defeated Satan’s wily schemes and exposed his deceit, and has provided us with the only ‘cure’ for our otherwise ‘incurable’ hearts. Let us be diligent and careful to take hold of his provision for ourselves: “The reason I wrote to you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. … in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:9, 11), and “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the FAITH, …” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
– Bruce Christian