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. 2401
    Glenda Arnold says:

    Glenda – Royse City, Texas
    Isaiah 43:2 NIV
    When you pass through the waters I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you, When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flamees will not set you ablaze.

  2. 2402
    Carrie Johnson says:

    He who guards his lips guards his life but he who speaks harshly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3 NIV

  3. 2403

    Searcy, AR

    The Lord is good, giving protection in times of trouble. He knows who trusts in Him.

    Nahum 1:7

  4. 2404
    AnnaRuth says:

    Anna, Little Elm, TX

    “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.”

    1 Peter 3:3 (NIV84)

  5. 2405
    Dana says:

    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, neither let it be afraid.

    John 14:27 NKJV

    Boerne, TX

  6. 2406
    Danielle S. says:

    Danielle S.
    Garden City, KS

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
    Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

  7. 2407
    Paulette Thompson says:

    Paulette, Fairview Heights, IL
    Brethren, pray for us. 1 Thess 5:25 NKJV

  8. 2408
    Angie from Overland Park says:

    Colossians 3:23 NIV
    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The Lord, not for men.

  9. 2409
    Jen B. says:

    Jen B., Gaithersburg, MD
    “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8 NLT

  10. 2410
    Sarah Sykes says:

    Sarah Sykes, Arkadelphia, AR

    Psalms 84:5

    Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

  11. 2411
    Dawn Edgell says:

    Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12. (NIV)

  12. 2412
    Julene Notman says:

    Julene, Cowiche, WA
    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

  13. 2413
    Jamieb says:

    Corbin, ky
    Psalm 91:4b NLT
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

  14. 2414
    Lindsay says:

    Lindsay from Tampa:

    do not be angry and frustrated! do not fret! that only leads to trouble!

    Psalm 37:8

  15. 2415
    Scarlett Flynn says:

    Scarlett Flynn
    Round Rock, TX

    You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. (Psalm 86:5, NIV)

  16. 2416
    Lauren Bain says:

    Lauren, San Marcos, Tx. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear The Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Prov. 3:7-8 NIV

  17. 2417
    Kacie says:

    “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud” 1 Corinthians 3:4

  18. 2418
    Sonya says:

    Aurora, CO

    As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
    Psalm 103: 12 (NIV)

  19. 2419
    Stephanie Knight says:

    But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my Glory, the One who lifts my head high. Ps 3:3 NIV

  20. 2420
    Nancy Rose says:

    Nancy Rose, NN, Va Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of your heart

  21. 2421
    Tricia Neumann says:

    Conroe, TX

    “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.”

    Proverbs 18:21, The Message

  22. 2422
    Lise Ode says:

    Better late than never…
    Lise, Cumming, GA
    And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
    DEU 6:5

  23. 2423
    Cheya says:

    Cheya, Houston. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2 NIV)

  24. 2424
    Monica Pribe says:

    Monica Pribe, Blacklick OH ” we love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19 ESV

  25. 2425
    Kendra W. says:

    Kendra W., Dallas:

    “He who guards his lips guards his life but he who speaks harshly will come to ruin.”

    Proverbs 13:3 NIV

  26. 2426
    Lynne - Sedona says:

    “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 (NIV)

  27. 2427
    Kathleen, Natchitoches, LA says:

    How priceless is your unfailing love!
    Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
    Ps 36:7 NIV

  28. 2428
    Toma says:

    Toma, Antelope, CA

    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
    1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV

  29. 2429
    Rachel says:

    The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

    Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

  30. 2430
    Rose Coulter says:

    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15 NIV)

  31. 2431
    Brigette Brock says:

    Brigette Brock
    Morehead, KY

    “…Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
    2 Chron. 20:15b

  32. 2432
    Katresha Taylor, Fishers says:

    Always be humble, Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love.

    Ephesians 4:2 NIT

  33. 2433
    Paulette Thompson says:

    Paulette, Fairview Heights, IL
    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 NKJV

  34. 2434
    Matia Messemer says:

    Matia, Fort Worth
    “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 ESV

  35. 2435
    Joni says:

    Joni, Port Neches. “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” James 2:24 NIV84

  36. 2436
    Mandy says:

    Waco, TX
    So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me…”
    John 11:41 (NIV)

  37. 2437
    Mary says:

    Woodway, Texas
    “This is the day the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
    Psalm 118:24 NLT

  38. 2438
    Tara says:

    Tara from Bolingbrook,IL

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

    Psalm 119:105, ESV

  39. 2439
    Hannah says:

    Hannah from Bolingbrook,IL

    Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

    Proverbs 21:23, ESV

  40. 2440
    Cathy Coates says:

    Cathy, Jackman, ME NLT
    2 Timothy 2:24 “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach and be patient with difficult people.”

  41. 2441
    Heather says:

    Heather—Corpus Christi, TX.

    Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
    That there may be food in My house,
    And try Me now in this,”
    Says the Lord of hosts,
    “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
    And pour out for you such blessing
    That there will not be room enough to receive it.

    Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)

  42. 2442
    Kim Smith says:

    Kim, Littlestown, PA. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4 (NKJ)

  43. 2443
    Stefypie3 says:

    Stephanie, Lititz, PA “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 AMP

  44. 2444
    Terra Martin says:

    Terra from Owasso, Oklahoma

    Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:5 NLT

  45. 2445
    Tammy Grant says:

    “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, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 NKJV

  46. 2446
    Ann Gonzalez says:

    Ann Gonzalez
    Morelia, Mexico
    “with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” Psalm 103:18 NIV

  47. 2447
    Esther-Valencia CA says:

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrifies because of them, for The Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
    Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

  48. 2448
    Theresa Burwick says:

    Theresa, Cincinnati, We demolish arguments and every pretention 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

  49. 2449
    Georgine East says:

    August 1 – Psalm 52: 8-9 NIV

    But I am like an olive tree
 flourishing in the house of God;
 I trust in God’s unfailing love
 for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you
 in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name,
 for your name is good.

    Georgine East
    Austin, TX

  50. 2450
    Holly Watson says:

    Holly, Ramona, CA; Proverbs 21:5 (NASB)

    “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

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