2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 15!

Hey, Everybody!

Soon after this post is published, I’ll be on a plane to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for this weekend’s Living Proof Live. I love going to the Dakotas so I am filled with joy over the privilege to serve there and anticipating God’s gracious and obvious (please let it be, Lord) presence crowded around us and welling up within us. Please pray for Jesus to be exalted, experienced, and enthroned there and for many to be saved and stunningly delivered.

My Scripture memory selection this week is springing up from my Monday morning reading there in my den at home. I’ve mentioned many times that I use a different translation for my devotional and prayer time so that the words will fall particularly fresh on me and so that, if the reading happens to be a familiar segment, I can’t anticipate it and unintentionally dismiss it. The translation I often use is The NET Bible. I’m going to give you the whole segment I read Monday morning so that you’ll see the verse I’ve chosen this time around in its context. This is Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NET):
17:5 The LORD says,
“I will put a curse on people
who trust in mere human beings,
who depend on mere flesh and blood for their strength,
and whose hearts have turned away from the LORD.
17:6 They will be like a shrub in the desert.
They will not experience good things even when they happen.
It will be as though they were growing in the desert,
in a salt land where no one can live.
17:7 My blessing is on those people who trust in me,
who put their confidence in me.
17:8 They will be like a tree planted near a stream
whose roots spread out toward the water.
It has nothing to fear when the heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought.
It does not stop bearing fruit.

If you are like me, you found the way the NET translates the very first verse (V.5) a little disturbing. You’ll be relieved to know this isn’t the Scripture I’ve chosen to memorize (smiling) but it still needs addressing so that we’re not too distracted by it to engross ourselves in the remainder of the segment. If you’re familiar with the passage, you are probably more accustomed to wording like the NIV: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man.” The fact that the NET makes God the one “putting” the curse on man makes us squirm. Before we let it tie us in a knot and throw us in a lake of fear, we have to remind ourselves of our position in Christ. We have the glorious benefit of living this side of the completed work of the Cross and resurrection.

Galatians 3:13 says to our great relief: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'”

Jeremiah 17:5 is still tremendously relevant to us because it unfolds the misery of counting on mere flesh and blood. I wonder if the “curse” talked about in this verse is of the same ilk as the one in Genesis 3 that came directly from God to man after the fall in the Garden. If Adam and Eve were doing anything at all when they ate from that tree, they were shifting their trust from God to themselves – mere flesh and blood – by attempting to be God-like. Though the Cross of Christ bore the curse for us, we can still endure the desolation that invariably results from placing our trust and confidence in people rather than God. This gets us where we’re going in our post today. Look back at Jeremiah 17:6 because this is the part that totally captivated me.

“They will be like a shrub in the desert. They will not experience good things even when they happen.”

Read it again if you need to but don’t proceed until you’ve tried to absorb that second sentence. Have you ever been right in the middle of something good happening and yet missed the full experience and joyful impact of it? Surely you’ve said silently to yourself as I’ve said to myself, “I should really be happy right now. What is wrong with me??” You know the feeling. You’re in a celebration or service of some kind or a holiday gathering and yet you almost feel detached from it. You’re there. But you are somehow disconnected from experiencing it. You know “it” (the positive thing presently happening) but you can’t feel it. It’s a good thing but you don’t feel good about it…or in it. What on earth is that about?

Jeremiah would suggest that the experience of good can be disconnected from the good because we are in a season of shifted trust from God to man. When we’ve set our hopes for happiness in how well all our people are doing…getting along…flourishing…affirming us…satisfying us…and all-around-generally-blessing us, and we even get a glimmer of it, we can’t experience the good because we know down deep that we can’t hold onto it. As much as we love all our people, we know that, ultimately, they are not going to come through for us. One shoe will drop. Then the other. The disappointment will come. And the harmony we feel for this moment with our fellow humans could at any second flip upside down into complete mayhem.

Notice the part that says “they will be like a shrub in the desert.” Isn’t it ironic that the more we depend on flesh and blood to come through for us and to fulfill us, the more isolated we become? You’d think that numbers alone would insure company and community. In other words, why derive our strengths and confidences from one God when we could get infinitely more out of all these people? Out of all these communities? Out of all our fellow church members? Out of all our Facebook friends? Our fellow tweeters? Company is one click away.

But it never works that way, does it? We never can let down our guard completely and find any shred of real security from flesh and blood. The person obsessed with us today can turn on us tomorrow and we know it. The person who makes life worth living for us today could die on us tomorrow and we know it. I don’t mean to be morose. I just mean to point out the emotional tightrope we’re walking. Being vastly people-oriented rather than God-oriented always ends up taking us to a place of isolation because they’re invariably busy when we want to play, invariably distracted when we want attention, and invariably more taken with themselves than with us. And so, there we sit, with our trust and confidence in mere flesh and blood and we end up feeling like a shrub in a desert.  Just as Jeremiah 17:6 says, “It will be as though [we] are growing in the desert, in a salt land where no one can live.”

Trust in man can seem a great place to visit but no one can really live there and come out calling it living.

It’s so odd to me that the more drawn I feel to God and the more taken I become with His Presence, the freer I am to love other people and the less I hold them responsible for me. Community with God increases our “experience” of good in a community of people. It is its own paradox.

And all of this brings us to the verse I have chosen for my memory work this time around:

Beth, Houston. My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me. Jeremiah 17:7 The NET Bible

And what earthly difference would that make? Well, let’s see…

“They will be like a tree planted near a stream whose roots spread out toward the water. It has nothing to fear when the heat comes. Its leaves are always green. It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought. It does not stop bearing fruit.”

Notice a very intriguing contrast hidden in Jeremiah 17:8 – “It has nothing to fear when the heat comes.”

Reflect back on 17:6b – “They will not experience good things even when [good things] happen.”

When we place our confidence in mere flesh and blood, we are shortchanged even when good things happen. When we place our confidence in God, the Immortal Invisible, we have nothing to fear even when hard things happen. The former leaves us a dry shrub. The latter makes us a fruit-bearing tree.

We never get this lesson learned once and for all, do we? Or maybe it’s just me. I still get so tempted to put my confidence in people and to think that, if all my loved ones were safe, well, and flourishing, I could be so happy. The truth of it is, I do want those things for my loved ones but God alone can come through for them and for me. Anyway, at the end of the day, I could have everything this world could offer and all the good that man could possibly do me and still sit back and think, “Why doesn’t it feel better than this?”

My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me.

Let’s hear your verses, Sisters!






2,588 Responses to “2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 15!”

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  1. 1
    Emily Nye says:

    Indianapolis, IN

    Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12 ESV)

  2. 2
    Alyssa Mochen says:

    Alyssa Mochen
    Rio Rancho, MM

    He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
    Micah 6:8 MSG

  3. 3
    Carol, Tallmadge, OH says:

    Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6 NASB

  4. 4
    Tina says:

    Tina, Columbus Ohio
    In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. Psalm 25:1 NIV

  5. 5
    Sherry says:

    Indianapolis, IN

    “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
    1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

  6. 6
    Ro from Corpus Christi says:

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
    Philippians 4:7-9 KJV

  7. 7
    Fontaine Tabor says:

    Eccl 1:18 KJV
    For in much wisdom is much grief & he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

  8. 8
    Gayle Garretson says:

    Psalm 63:6 KJV
    On my bed I remember you: I think of you through the watches of the night.

  9. 9
    Leigh says:

    Leigh, Montgomery. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV

  10. 10
    Ruth Hency says:

    Ruth Hency from Oran, Mo. “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV

  11. 11
    Kim DotJoy says:

    Kim; Poplar Bluff, MO. “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (ESV)

  12. 12
    Stephanie King says:

    Stephanie King – Richardson, TX

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.

    Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

  13. 13
    Sarah Marion says:

    Sarah, Christina and Esther May: Wenatchee, WA

    Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.

    James 3:15 NIV

  14. 14
    Michelle says:

    Michelle, Houston, “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.” Proverbs 16:1 NIV

  15. 15
    Tanis says:

    Tanis, Terrace

    You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word. Psalm 119:114 HCSB

  16. 16
    Linda says:

    Belton, Tx

    And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–
    not even the power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

  17. 17
    flip flops says:

    Lyn Steriti
    Littleton NH

    But I say walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

    Gal. 5:16-17 NASB

  18. 18
    Sheila Keedy says:

    Revelation 19:11 ESV
    Then I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

  19. 19
    Olga says:

    Lilburn, GA
    Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB)

  20. 20
    Elizabeth says:

    Elizabeth, Broomfield, CO

    Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him because He always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

  21. 21
    Brooke says:

    Brooke, Princeton, ME:

    Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
    1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV

  22. 22
    Suzan, Beckley WV says:

    I Corinthians 4:20 NAS
    For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.

    I Corinthians 4:20 NIV
    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

    I Corinthians 4:20 The Message
    God’s Way is not a matter of mere talk; it’s an empowered life.

  23. 23
    Melissa says:

    Melissa, Augusta, GA
    For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
    Deuteronomy 30:16, NIV

  24. 24
    Siesta Susan says:

    Susan,Fairhope,AL- Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Philippians 2:14-15 (NIV)

  25. 25
    Stacy says:

    Stacy – Hinckley, England

    Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and correcting them and showing them how to live.

    2 Timothy 3:16 CEV

  26. 26
    Jean Herrick says:

    Jean Herrick, Princeton Maine

    You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
    Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

    Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)

  27. 27
    Janet Jarmula says:

    Janet Ronkonkoma, NY

    “I wait quietly before the Lord for my victory comes from Him.” Psalm 62:1 NIV

  28. 28
    Linda in Pyeongtaek says:

    Isaiah 49 New International
    8 This is what the Lord says:

    “In the time of my favor I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;
    I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,
    to restore the land
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
    9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

  29. 29
    Brenda says:

    Brenda – Hendersonville TN
    I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT

  30. 30
    Debby from Akron, OH says:

    John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” NIV84

  31. 31
    Judy says:

    Judy, Panama City, Fl
    I Corinthians 4:5 (NLT)
    So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time – before the Lord returns, for He will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

  32. 32
    Gay Beck says:

    Gay Beck, Plain City, OH

    Psalm 1:6 (NIV)

    For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

  33. 33
    Bonnie Sandoval says:

    Bonnie B., Flotown, Colorado, verse 15!

    “He will spend his days in prosperity and his descendants will inherit the land.”

    Psalm 25:13 NIV

  34. 34
    Katie Cannon says:

    Katie, Harrisonburg. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

  35. 35
    Shiffra says:

    Shiffra, Vicksburg MI. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV) “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.”

  36. 36
    Tammy Goodwin says:

    Tammy from Fort Myers, FL “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 HCSB

  37. 37
    Lauren Miller says:

    Lauren from Magee, MS –
    “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” ~Rom. 15:5 (NIV)

  38. 38
    Kathleen says:

    Kathleen, Phoenix:
    Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
    Psalms 119:105 (NIV)

  39. 39
    Karen says:

    Karen J. from Westminster, MD
    This is the verdict: light has come into the world.
    John 3:19 NIV

  40. 40
    Barbara Fenn says:

    Barb, Medina
    to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    1 Pet 1:4-5 ESV

  41. 41
    Tammy Kron says:

    Lusby, MD

    1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

  42. 42
    Ashley Sullens says:

    Ashley Sullens
    Kings Mountain, NC

    Psalm 27:12 (NASB)
    Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.

  43. 43
    Kathleen Stinson says:

    “Look I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too difficult for me?”

    Jeremiah 32:27

  44. 44
    Melanie Thrasher says:

    Melanie, Pensacola, FL

    …and what does The Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?

    Micah6:8 (NIV)

  45. 45
    Cindy Cannon says:

    Cindy Cannon, Otterville, IL

    Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31 (NLT)

  46. 46
    Becky says:

    Becky, Roswell, GA

    “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call. May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”

    II Thess. 1:11, NLT

  47. 47
    Merle NM says:

    PSALMS 91:14 KJV

  48. 48
    Tracey Knight says:

    Tracey Knight ~ Arkadelphia AR
    The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (John 7:18 HCSB)

  49. 49
    Sara says:

    Sara, Sioux City ~
    Search me, O God and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
    Psalm 139:23 NKJV

  50. 50
    Carol says:

    Carol, Hartley, Iowa
    2 Timothy 2:24
    The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. NIV

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