The Blessed Woman: Day three

The Blessed Woman has a God-Centered Trust

Day Three

Yesterday, you answered some questions that compared a cursed man and a blessed man. I hope you saw that Jeremiah didn’t just preach against sin and rebellion, but he also showed the people where they could find hope. The blessed man whose trust is in the Lord (verse 7) contrasts the cursed man who trusts in himself (verse 5).

In Hosea 10:13, we see the danger of trusting in self. G. H. Livingston writes in the Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, “Israel has sown the seeds of wickedness instead of righteousness. The reapers will gather evil and the food prepared from it will be deception. All this is being done in Israel’s own strength, with their hope based on their many warriors. The strength available in the Lord is completely ignored.”[1]

Oh, how I need to remember to trust in the Lord! Too often, I lean on my own strength and wisdom. I look at the external circumstances and feel discouraged. I seek ways to “fix” things instead of seeking the Lord. I miss the fundamental component of true faith. Both the cursed and blessed man had faith; the difference between them was the object of their faith.

The blessed man has a God-centered trust, a God-focused hope. He trusts the Lord and trusts in the Lord. The blessed man has placed his confidence in the Lord. He is sure of the Lord. A cross-reference to this sends us to Psalm 2:12 and 34:8, which say how blessed is the man who takes refuge in God. Refuge means shelter or protection from danger or trouble. It is a place of safety that provides aid, relief, or escape. The blessed man knows the Lord is his hope. Another cross-reference sends us to Psalm 71:5, where we read that God is our hope and our confidence.

In Psalm 125:1, we learn that those who trust in God are like Mount Zion; they cannot be moved. They abide forever.

That is the picture here. The blessed man is the tree. The blessed man is planted near the water. The blessed man is sending its roots deep into God because God is the water that sustains the tree even through the fiercest drought.

All this is contrasted by the cursed man who trusts in his strength to sustain him. The shrub in the desert represents him, and he sees nothing good. The imagery of the shrub, the man with misplaced trust, is vivid: He is parched, alone in the wilderness, in salt land. If enough salt is added to land, it will prevent the plants from gaining water through osmosis. It will kill the existing plants and prevent new ones from growing. If our trust is misplaced, we are in a salt land with stifled growth that eventually kills us.

As a homeschool family, we sometimes complete science experiments, and one of them illustrates this point well. One day, the kids and I placed two sticks of celery into two separate glasses of water. In the first glass, we added food colouring. In the second glass, we added enough salt so it would no longer dissolve. One day later, the celery in the glass with the food colour had drawn moisture from the coloured water, and as a result, the celery had changed colour through osmosis. It illustrates how the water feeds and sustains the celery. But the salt in the second glass caused the celery to wilt. The salt removed moisture from the celery to reduce the salinity of the water. This is called reverse osmosis. The salt sucked the life out of the celery. The blessed man is the man changed by the nourishing water running through its roots. The water sustains the tree and makes it stronger. The cursed man dies; his trust is mistakenly placed in the salt land that sucked the life from him.

PrayerLord, I confess the times in which I trusted in my strength and wisdom and I repent from self-sufficiency. I need you, Lord. I need you to deliver me from my patterns of sin, from ________________. I need you to remind me of your law. Great is your mercy. Great is your strength. You are good and do good. Your hands have made and fashioned me, and I will not forget your statues. Lord, it is my heart’s desire that I would become less like a cursed woman and more like a blessed woman as I work through this study. Please guide me toward that end. 

Tomorrow we will look at what difference a God-focused hope makes in the life of a believer. Click here to read day four.

[1] Livingston, G. H. (1995). Hosea. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Vol. 3, p. 613). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.