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. 101
    Stephanie Volkmer says:

    Stephanie V., Tulsa Ok
    *Throw your burdan upon the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be upended. (Psalm 55:22, NET)

  2. 102
    Sarah Miller says:

    Sarah Miller. New Palestine, IN
    Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. (Psalm 107:22 NIV)

  3. 103
    Berni says:

    Berni, Albuquerque
    “God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even
    imagine the greatness of His power.” Job 37:5NLT

  4. 104
    Jeanine Boyle says:

    Jeanine, Toronto, Canada
    “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
    2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV

  5. 105
    Michelle says:

    Michelle, West Des Moines, IA

    For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
    To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

    Romans 11:36 NIV

  6. 106
    Kara C says:

    Kara C, Aurora, Il

    Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT)

  7. 107
    Marsha R. says:

    Marsha R. Lexington Park, MD
    Jesus wept.
    John 11:35 NIV

    seriously…need extra time for James 2 to penetrate, inhabit and stay put.

  8. 108
    Terry says:

    Washington, IL
    My blessing is on those people who trust in me, who put their confidence in me.
    Jeremiah 17:7 NET

  9. 109
    Colette says:

    Colette, Mesa, AZ.

    “It is God who arms me with strength
    and makes my way perfect!”

    Psalm 18:32 NIV

  10. 110
    Amy Hart says:

    Amy; Milton, WA

    “But he said to me;”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

    2 Cor. 12:9, NIV

  11. 111
    Erin VT says:

    Chippewa falls WI

    My blessing is on those people who trust in me, who put their confidence in me.
    Jeremiah 17:7 NET

  12. 112
    Rhonda says:

    no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (Philemon 1:16 NKJV)

  13. 113
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Psalm 115:1 NLT
    Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
    but to your name goes all the glory
    for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
    Hilton Head Island, SC

  14. 114
    Laura Hagedorn says:

    Laura Hagedorn, Wausau, WI., You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)

  15. 115
    Tara from Springfield, MO says:

    I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

    Galatians 2:21 (NIV)

  16. 116
    Paula from Tyler says:

    Isaiah 41:10
    So don’t worry because I am with you. Don’t be afraid because I am your God.
    I will make you strong and will help you. I will support you with my right hand that saves you.

  17. 117
    1gleaner says:

    Judy, Littleton, NC

    Heal me oh, Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

    Jeremiah 17:14 NIV

  18. 118
    Kari Dobbs says:

    Kari, Frisco, TX
    “O God you are my God. I earnestly search for you. My soul thrusts for you.”
    Psalm 63:1

  19. 119
    Mary McBee, Orange ,TX says:

    Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
    Psalms 105:4 NIV

  20. 120
    Janet George says:

    Janet, Tulsa.
    “My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me.” (Jeremiah 17:7 The NET Bible)

  21. 121
    Deena says:

    Deena from Amarillo, Texas

    “Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
    Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.” Ps 85:6-7 NIV

  22. 122
    Jennifer Williams says:

    Jennifer, Chattanooga. Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5 NIV

  23. 123
    Michelle says:

    Michelle from Chesapeake, VA

    But whoever listens to me will live securely and be free from the fear of danger.

    Proverbs 1:33 (HCSB)

  24. 124
    Jacie says:

    Jacie from Amarillo, Texas

    “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13

  25. 125
    Elisabeth says:


    The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
    (Habakkuk 3:19 AMP)

  26. 126
    Nikki says:

    Nikki from McGregor, Texas. “He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Psalm 78:5-6, NIV.

  27. 127
    Tina Harlow says:

    West Monroe, LA:

    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.


  28. 128

    Cheryl, Coffeyville, KS

    “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” Psalm 48:14 NIV84

  29. 129
    Rachel says:

    Rachel, Mt. Carmel, PA
    2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

  30. 130
    Sandy says:

    Durant, OK

    “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure if my concern for all the churches.”
    2 Corinthians 11:28NIV

  31. 131
    Sandra from Greenville, TX says:

    Psalms 42:5 NASB

    Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

  32. 132
    Cheryl, Kemah,TX says:

    “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
    Jeremiah 17:7 NIV84

  33. 133
    Maureen Guilbault says:

    Maureen, Pascoag, RI

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.

    Proverbs 3:5 NRSV

  34. 134
    Linda says:

    “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
    Colossians 3:16a (NIV)

  35. 135
    Crissy Wright says:

    Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:24, 25 HCSB)

  36. 136
    Susan Meyering says:

    Sue M in Grand Rapids MI

    Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

    2 Thessalonians 2: 16,17 ESV

  37. 137
    Sue says:

    Sue Big Rapids, MI
    Ps 91:7 NASB A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.

  38. 138
    Kelly says:

    Kelly, Charlotte, NC

    And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

    Isaiah 32:17 ESV

  39. 139
    Jennifer says:

    Jennifer, Cullman, AL
    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

  40. 140
    Marilyn says:

    Marilyn, Amarillo, TX: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days”. Psalm 90:14, ESV

  41. 141
    Julie Stamey says:

    Ezekiel 37:27
    My dwelling place will be with them;
    I will be their god and they will be my people

  42. 142
    Angie says:

    Angie W. from Liberty, Missouri: Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Hebrews 13:15 AMP

  43. 143

    Terry, Carbondale, IL “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” James 2:10 (ESV)

  44. 144
    Pam Dow says:

    Pam D., Hendersonville, TN Zephaniah 3:17 (NCV) “The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in His love; He will sing and be joyful about you.”

  45. 145
    Nicole Burdess says:

    Nicole from Newton, Iowa

    The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..

    Isaiah 61:1 NIV

  46. 146
    Susan B. says:

    Susan B., Chapin, SC
    Acts 2:24 NIV
    But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

  47. 147
    Lala Ball Cooper says:

    Lala Ball Cooper from Ruston, Louisiana, says:

    “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” 1 John 2:29 KJV

  48. 148
    Colleen says:

    Colleen Duebber. Cincinnati, Ohio

    Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

    Psalm 119:24 (NIV)

  49. 149
    Molly Z says:

    Molly Z. From Pierce, NE

    We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6:19 NIV)

  50. 150
    colleen says:

    Colleen, Cape Town, South Africa
    Beth, those verses from Jeremiah were my last 2 memory verses from the NIV and I was also struck by the fact that we won’t see the good thing when it comes.
    My memory verse today:
    A bruised reed he will not break and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.
    Matthew 12:20, NIV

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