When I read chapter 17, vs. 7-8, I was reminded of Psalm 1. Psalm 1 is one of my favorite Psalms, and over the years, it has become a part of me. I pray my life becomes a demonstration of that “blessed man.”
Lately, depravity has been on my mind as well. 17:9 shows us the depth of our depravity. Above everything else, above every other trait we may use to describe our hearts, the most fitting, the most true, is that our hearts are deceitful. Not only is it deceitful, but it is desperately sick (ESV). It wants to be good, but it just can’t be. And because this is the case, who can understand the heart? Who can make sense of right and wrong, good and evil. Only God, who searches the heart and tests the mind.
Verses 19-27 of chapter 17 sort of caught me off guard. These verses drive home the importance of Sabbath. But, I think the issue is deeper than just Sabbath. The issue is obedience.
Moving to chapter 18, we see a familiar passage about the potter and the clay. So often, we use it today with a positive connotation. But in this set of Scriptures, it obviously has a negative connotation. Hmm…are there other places where there might be similar illustrations with positive connotations? I’ll let you search it out.
To end this section, we read Jeremiah’s prayers against his adversaries. He prays for the Lord’s vengeance, for retribution. He prays what some call imprecatory prayers. In the truest sense, that is what they are.