Dave Burnette's Commentary

Jeremiah Chapter 17

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (627-586 BC)
Overview: To Urge God's People to Turn from Sin to God (c 1-52)
Theme: God's Judgement on Judah (c 1-45)
Message: Jeremiah Warns Other People (v 1-27)

Jeremiah 17 Commentary 

(17:1) Deceitful Hearts - God's people continued to sin even though they had the law, the prophets of God, and a national history filled with God's miracles. How could they do that? Why do we continue to cherish sin even though we understand the eternal consequences? Jeremiah says that the heart is deceitful (17:9) and that Judah's sin was "graven upon the table of their heart" with the point of a diamond. The Hebrews symbolized the various aspects of a person by locating them in certain physical organs; the heart was the organ of reason, intelligence, and will. So deep is our tendency to sin that only God's redemption can deliver us. 

(17:5-8) Trust in the Lord - Two kinds of people are contrasted here: those who trust in human beings and those who trust in the Lord. The people of Judah were trusting in false gods and military alliances instead of in God; thus, they were stunted and unfruitful. In contrast, those who trust in the Lord flourish like trees planted by a steady source of water (see Psalm 1). In times of trouble, those who trust in human beings will be impoverished and spiritually weak, so they will have no strength to draw on. But those who trust in the Lord will have abundant strength, not only for their own needs, but also for the needs of others. Are you living in an unfruitful drought, or do you, like a well-watered tree, have strength for times of crisis? Accept God's blessing on you and ask him to help you bear fruit. 

(17:9-10) Our rebellious Hearts - God makes it clear why we sin--it's a matter of the heart. Our hearts have been rebellious, sinful, and secretive from the moment we were born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God, but it is our choice whether to continue in sin. We can yield to temptation or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes. 

(17:11) The Unjust - For many of our daily tasks, there is a right way and a wrong way to do them. Even more so, there is a right way and a wrong way to treat the people with whom we do these tasks. Jeremiah says that people who become rich by unjust means will end up foolish and poor. Whether at work, school, home, or anywhere else, we should strive to be honest in all our dealings. Sinning in order to get a promotion, cheating to pass an exam, or gaining prestige by dishonest means will never bring God's blessing or lasting happiness. 

(17:19-27) Put God First - The people were working on the Sabbath, their day of rest (Exodus 20:8-11). Instead of entering the gates of the city on their way to worship, they were continuing the hustle and bustle of business like any other day. They considered making money more important than keeping God's law. If they would repent and put God first in their lives, God promised them honor among the nations. Over a century later, when Nehemiah led the exiles on their return to Jerusalem, one of his most important reforms was to reinstitute Sabbath observance (Nehemiah 13:15-22). Honoring the Sabbath is still an abiding principle; not only is it an act of obedience to God, but it is also spiritually and physically beneficial to us.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Balanced Life

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Jeremiah 17. In our text today we see Jeremiah warning the people to heed the Word of the Lord. Here the people rejecting the word of the Lord to attempt to provide their needs. In making application we see many there are many principles in the Word of God of living a balanced lifestyle that is dependent on the Lord. Labor, Finances, Effort, Rest, Worship, Family Time, and every aspect of life is outlined in the Word of God and a wise person will heed the Word of God. How about you? Do you put the Word of God ahead of your own desires? Let us learn from our text today and the warning of Jeremiah to learn to live a balanced life not based on our own desires but based upon the Word of God.


Jeremiah 17

Jeremiah 17

 1The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

 2Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.

 3O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.

 4And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.

 5Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

 6For 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.

 7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

 8For 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.

 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

 11As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.

 12A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

 13O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

 14Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

 15Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.

 16As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.

 17Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.

 18Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

 19Thus said the LORD unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;

 20And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the LORD, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates:

 21Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;

 22Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

 23But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.

 24And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;

 25Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.

 26And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.

 27But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.