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. 2301
    karina allen says:

    Baton Rouge, La.

    “If we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

    Romans 14:8

  2. 2302
    Julie Payne says:

    Julie Payne, Muskogee, OK. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

  3. 2303
    Kathleen says:

    Chester, VA: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

  4. 2304
    Donna says:

    Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Ponder, TX

  5. 2305
    Deb Weaver says:

    Deb, Pelzer, SC

    1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

  6. 2306
    Julia says:

    Julia from Cincinnati, OH

    Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your names sake.

    Psalm 79:9

  7. 2307
    Stephanie says:

    Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. Psalm 107:17 (NIV)
    Pawleys Island, SC

  8. 2308
    Stephanie says:

    Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. Psalm 107:17 (NIV)
    Pawleys Island, SC

  9. 2309
    Cindy Wilburn, LC , OR says:

    Ps 27: 7-10 NAS
    Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice. And be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face”, my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not abandon me not forsake me, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.

  10. 2310
    Debra says:

    Debra – Dahlgren, IL

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and
    in his mighty power.

    Ephesians 6:10

  11. 2311
    Olivia Lopez says:

    Olivia, Lapwai, Idaho.
    So again I say, each man must love his wife as he love himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NLT

  12. 2312
    Rene Sandifer says:

    Rene Sandifer, Overland Park, KS “My blessing is on those people who trust in Me, who put their confidence in Me.” Jeremiah 17:7 NET

  13. 2313
    Becky says:

    Becky, Chattanooga, TN
    “I am worn out waiting for Your rescue, but I have put my hope in Your Word. My eyes are straining to see Your promises come true. When will you comfort me?”
    Psalm 119:81NLT

  14. 2314
    Laura says:

    San Antonio, TX

    James 4:1-5 NASB

    “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you flight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit, which He has made to dwell in us”?”

    Sorry this is posted so late.

  15. 2315
    Cindy Whitaker says:

    Cindy, Columbia, MO

    “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”

    James 1:3 ESV

  16. 2316
    Michelle Harvey says:

    Michelle, Auburn, IN

    Those who know Your name will trust in You,
    for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.
    Psalm 9:10 NIV

  17. 2317
    Jamie says:

    Jamie in Mason, OH

    But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

    Psalm 3:3 NIV

  18. 2318
    Stephanie says:

    Stephanie – Tampa, FL

    When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

  19. 2319
    Tatiana says:

    Tatiana, Geneva IL

    “even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
    I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save”. (Isaiah 46:4, ESV)

  20. 2320
    Joni says:

    Clarinda, IA
    And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 NASB

  21. 2321
    Veronica Long says:

    Roni – Demopolis, AL

    “You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of strength” Psalm 119:114 NLT

  22. 2322
    Tonia Booker says:

    Tonia in Meridian, Idaho
    Job 5:11(NKJ)
    And those who mourn are lifted up to safety

  23. 2323
    Marilyn Moore says:

    In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

  24. 2324

    Jennifer, Cypress, TX

    Nehemiah 9:5b-6a, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. You are the LORD, you alone.”

  25. 2325
    Angela from Pflugerville says:

    Proverbs 14:26
    New International Version (NIV)
    26 Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress,
    and for their children it will be a refuge.

  26. 2326
    Marla says:

    Bolivar, MO
    Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
    Ephesians 4:29 NAS

  27. 2327
    Hannah Hancock says:

    Hannah from Winter Haven, FL

    Psalm 119:49-52 (NKJV)

    49-Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. 50-This is my comfort in affliction, for Your word has given me life. 51-The proud have me in great derision, yet I do not turn aside from Your law. 52-I remembered Your judgments of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself.

  28. 2328
    Jana says:

    Jana, Tampa, FL

    Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Colossians 3:11 NIV

  29. 2329
    Kaitlyn says:

    Kaitlyn, Fort Walton Beach, FL

    For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16 (ESV)

  30. 2330
    Debbie says:

    Debbie, Fairfax VA

    “For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37 {NLT}

  31. 2331
    Karen Sue Dement says:

    Karen Sue
    Austin, TX

    “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
    John 14:27 NAS

  32. 2332
    Donna says:

    Donna, Fort Wayne,IN

    And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5 ESV)

  33. 2333
    Diane, Durham, NC says:

    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

  34. 2334
    Sherree says:

    Sherree from Mansfield, TX

    Colossians 4:6 NCV
    When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.

  35. 2335
    Alison says:

    Alison, Richmond, VA

    Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3,4 NIV

  36. 2336
    Candace says:

    Candace – Narvon, PA
    Ephesians 1:13b-14 NIV
    When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.

  37. 2337
    Allison says:

    Allison, Jersey Village
    Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as it is good for building up; as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
    Ephesians 4:29

  38. 2338
    Hannah says:

    Hannah, Baton Rouge, LA

    Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25 (NLT)

  39. 2339
    Jodi says:

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

  40. 2340
    Anna G. says:

    Anna in Mobile, AL

    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

    2 Cor. 10:5 NIV

  41. 2341
    Aubree Hoffman says:

    Aubree, San Antonio, tx.
    Jesus wept.
    John 11:35 ESV

  42. 2342
    Connie says:

    Greene, IA

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

    Matthew 16:24

  43. 2343
    Janet Norwood says:

    Janet, Lenoir, NC: “…My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:21 NIV

  44. 2344
    danae says:

    danae | lafayette, in

    by day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. — psalm 42:8 [niv]

  45. 2345
    Karen says:

    Karen, Martinsville, NJ

    “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…” (the rest will be Sept. 1 verse)

    Philippians 1:9 (NIV, 1984)

  46. 2346
    Kerre Bogard says:

    Kerre, Chattanooga, TN. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 ESV

  47. 2347
    Lori says:

    Lori from St. Catharines, ON

    Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 NLT

  48. 2348
    jenny hud says:

    white hall, ar

    “but as for me, i will look to the Lord and confident in Him i will keep watch; i will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.”
    micah 7:7 (amp)

  49. 2349
    Carolyn Cook says:

    Carolyn, St. Peters, MO
    But godliness with contentment is great gain.
    1 Timothy 6:6 NIV84

  50. 2350
    Donalda Reimer says:

    Donalda, Osler, SK

    “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
    Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

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