From the earliest chapters of Genesis to the last chapters of Revelation, the Bible presents to us only two options on how to live: we either follow the Lord with all our heart and soul, or we don’t. As Jesus said, in words that many have found troubling, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23). This is a powerfully unambiguous statement about spiritual realities greater than what appears to the naked eye or than what common sense would seem to tell us. It’s the great controversy theme at its most basic level. And yet, in one sense, Jesus isn’t saying anything new or radical. It’s always been this way.
ReadJeremiah 17:5–10. What crucial spiritual principles do we find here, especially in light of the great controversy between Christ and Satan?
The immediate context of these words probably reflects Judah’s political dalliances, and the Lord wanted them to understand that their only help was in God, not in political or military powers, a point that they would later learn but only after it was far too late. Though the Lord can and does use other people to help us, in the end we must always put our trust only in Him. We can never know for sure the motives of others; we can always know God’s intentions for us.
With good reason, Jeremiah 17:9 warns about the deceitfulness of the human heart. The Hebrew text says that the heart is more deceitful than “everything.” The horrific physical effects of sin, as bad as they are, aren’t as bad as the moral and spiritual effects. The problem is, because our hearts are already so deceitful, we can’t fully know just how bad they really are. Jeremiah was soon to see for himself how very bad human intentions can be.
How can you learn to trust in the Lord more than you have before? What are ways that you can step out in faith, right now, and do what is right in the eyes of the Lord?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 4 – Rebuke and Retribution