Message from Sunday, February 17th, 2019
"Jesus Doesn't Let Us Down"
Jeremiah 17: 5 -8
Context is important. For example, when a Bible passage is taken out of context, the real meaning of that text is lost. I’ve known some people who have taken a passage out of context in order to prove their point. They try to make the Bible passage mean what they want it to mean. This is the wrong use of a Bible passage.
I should explain what I mean when I talk about taking a Bible passage out of context. When a person doesn’t study the verses and chapters before and after a verse, it’s difficult to get an accurate meaning of the verse. A person needs to get the whole picture before he arrives at a meaning of the verse.
Let me give us a life example of what I mean. I tell my child that he may eat the candy we bought him after he eats his supper. He is all excited. He takes the candy and goes and tells his friends that his parents gave him permission to eat all this candy. And so they all finish it off. Now, it is true that I said he could eat the candy, but I said only after he eats his supper. He took what I said out of context.
This same thing happens when people wrongly quote a Bible passage. They make the passage mean what they want it to mean. They don’t quote the passage in a way that it’s real meaning is properly conveyed. So, it’s extremely important when quoting a Bible passage not to take it out of context. When someone takes a passage out of context, they do an injustice to the passage’s real meaning.
Now, you might be asking yourself where am I going with this. It’s important that I lay this groundwork for us because if I don’t, we might have a difficult time understanding our text. We might come to the wrong conclusion regarding its meaning. So that’s why I expounded on context.
If a person read just our text without reading other parts of the Bible, that person might be led to believe that God hates people. Our text is a strong admonition from God not to put our trust in people. “Cursed is the one who trusts in a person…” Those are some very strong words. But like I said, if we just read these words without taking into account other passages from the Bible, we might conclude that God hates people.
That’s not the case. In other parts of the Bible we are told that God loves people. He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die for the sins of the whole world if He didn’t love us. God’s love for us is so great that He was willing to send His Son to die for us. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. God doesn’t hate people, but He certainly knows what’s inside of us.
What God is telling us in this passage is that we must put our trust in Him alone, not because He hates us, but because a person has his limitations and weaknesses. Moreover, a human being is sinful. Isn’t this what we are? We let people down all the time. We don’t always keep our word. We put ourselves before others. We always try to get what’s best for us without thinking about how our getting what’s best for us may negatively effect others. Why on earth would anyone want to put their trust in another person?
When it comes to eternal salvation, can a person save us? Of course not. But many people have put their trust in religious leaders—and to their detriment. I’m sure we have put our trust in a person above God.
Some people go nuts over their children. They practically worship them. There is no one like their child. I’m sure some of us have been guilty of putting our child above the Lord. How foolish, if you ask me. We certainly want to love our children but to put them above the Lord who gave them to us is unwise.
Trusting in a person will get us nowhere. A person can’t get us into heaven. Only Jesus Christ can do that. This is really what God is telling us by the prophet Jeremiah.
Now, often times, God may send a person into our life when we need help. Let’s say we get a flat tire and pull over to the side of the road. A person driving by may see that we need help and stop to help us. God sent that person to us. Or maybe we call a tow truck for help. The tow service comes to our aid. This, too, was orchestrated by God. He has allowed the tow service to exist in order to help people.
The doctor is someone God uses to make things better for us. He sends that person into our life when we can’t help ourselves.
God sends al kinds of people into our life to help us, but does this mean that we put our trust in them? No way. They are only God’s instruments. They are not God nor do they have God’s powers. They are limited in what they can do for us. However, what God can do for us is unlimited. This is why our text encourages us to put our trust only in God.
I would encourage us to put our trust in the God-human, Jesus Christ. He is the only human being I would ever completely trust. He has never gone back on His promises. He has always done what He said He would do. When He was with His disciples here on earth, He would tell them that He must suffer and die for the sins of the world and then rise from the dead. He told them that numerous times. What happened? Jesus did just as He said He would. He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and rose from the dead, appearing to His disciples who then went out into the world to make it known.
I would certainly put my trust in Jesus and in no one else. Jesus will always come through for us. People, on the other hand, don’t always come through for us. And we don’t always come through for others. No one should put his/her trust in us. We are sinful, imperfect beings who have many faults and weaknesses. A person should always put his/her trust in Jesus. He will always come through.
Verse 8 of our text tells us what a person, who trusts in the Lord, is like. “He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” This is what we are like when our trust is in the Lord. We have nothing to fear because we are confident Jesus will come to our rescue. If our trust is in a person, we can’t be sure that that person will come to our rescue. But God assures us that we are in good hands when we trust in Him. Nothing can uproot us and tear us down. The Lord won’t permit it.
So, are we convinced that putting our trust in a human being is unwise? I hope we are. A person can’t forgive our sins in the same way Jesus has. Believing in a person won’t get us into heaven. Believing in a person won’t get us through in life. But if we trust in Jesus, we are guaranteed a place with Him. If we believe in Jesus, we will make it through life, even when we experience extremely difficult times.
But God’s admonition to us not to trust in people doesn’t mean that God hates people, as I said earlier. God loves each and every one of us. The proof is in the fact that He provides for us and has saved us from the penalty of our sins. It's just that God knows the weaknesses and limitations of human beings, thus his admonition to trust in Him alone.
I pray that we will continue to trust in the Lord. In those moments when we feel like the Lord is far away from us, when we feel like God is of no use to us, when we feel His promises are just empty words, remember how God has brought us this far in life. We wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for His watching over us. And we’d have no hope for the future if it weren’t for Him. So, continue to trust the Lord. We won’t be sorry in the end.