Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: Jeremiah 17:5-11 Appended
The heart is deceitful above all things. - Jeremiah 17:9
True stories about deceit and deception can sound stranger than fiction. According to an AP news item, a Georgia woman was arrested after trying to pay for more than $1,500 in purchases with a million-dollar counterfeit bill. When questioned, the embarrassed patron claimed to have been misled, saying that the fake money had been given to her by her ex-husband, who was a coin collector.
The size of the bill makes us question whether anyone could really have been misled into thinking it was real. But maybe that makes it a good illustration of the almost unbelievable problem of self-deception that the prophet warns us about. When Jeremiah said, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (17:9 esv), he expresses a sense of amazement that is beyond our ability to grasp. Here the prophet is not saying that some of us have a problem being honest with ourselves; he is claiming that everyone does.
Thankfully, God searches our hearts and understands what we cannot see (v.10). He gives us every reason to say, Lord, we need Your help. Please show us whether we are being honest with ourselves and You. If we aren't, help us to change and rely on You rather than on ourselves. - Mart De Haan
Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. - Orr
The only way to survive in a world of deception is by trusting the One who will never deceive us.
Jeremiah 17:5-11 (New International Version)
5 This is what the LORD says:
Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They 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.�
9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.�
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
are those who gain riches by unjust means.
When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,
and in the end they will prove to be fools.
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.