One of the most often quoted verses in the Bible is Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The word “heart” (H3820 in Strong’s Concordance) is often used figuratively in scripture for the mind, will, or intellect, including our understanding and wisdom.
This verse provides an especially valid warning in this modern “information age” we live in today, where so much DIS-information and chatter clamors for our attention. Modern revisionists with agendas are re-writing history, and even the Bible itself, to fit their own paradigms, which presents a very confusing array of choices for our minds.
It is usually very important to understand the context of a Bible verse to get the true, God-intended meaning implanted in our minds, and in this case, context proves to be especially important, as we can see a chilling warning from God Himself starting in verse 5.
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. (Jer. 17:5-6)
I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind actually choosing to live their lives under a “curse” from God, but these verses indicate we can bring just such a “curse” upon ourselves by placing our faith, our confidence, our hope and trust in someone or something other than God.
There is a sharp contrast drawn for us though in the next two verses, as a great blessing is pronounced on one who chooses to put his trust and hope in God.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jer. 17:7-8)
So we can be assured that God has left us with a positive choice that can lead us to a truly blessed life. Verse 10 goes on to assure us that God is in touch with us … watching humanity, and searching our hearts with the intent of rewarding our choices.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.(Jer. 17:9-10)
There has never been a time in world history when there have been more voices competing for our time and attention. The “greatest minds” of our day … atheists, agnostics, scientists, philosophers, politicians, evangelists, and apologists, surely all have their unique and attractive messages to preach, and all want us to put our trust and hope in their solutions to world, and personal problems.
And then there is this one incredible book, The Holy Bible, containing the time-tested words of wisdom from God, which have endured for thousands of years, and cry out to us with a still small voice, saying … “trust ME!”