I have been involved in the social work field for over 30 years. One thing that I hear all the time is “They are not doing anything for me!”. It is a criticism, an open complaint against a doctor, a social worker, a case manager, etc. It is an expectation that somebody else is obligated to do for them, what they can do for themselves. It is a step beyond entitlement, it is dependency. The Prophet Jeremiah warned us about this when he states,
Thus says the Lord:“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come.He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Jeremiah 17:5-6 (ESV)
A person who is cursed is a person who is bound. The word trust is the Hebrew word bāṭaḥ: “A verb indicating to trust, to be confident. It expresses the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else.” This is highly offensive to God. Jeremiah continued by stating that these folks who are cursed find their strength in men and that these are also folks whose hearts have turned away from God. The consequences of trusting men above God are found in verse six:
- This is a person who is like a shrub in the desert: The word Shrub tells the story; it is the Hebrew word ʿarʿār: “An adjective meaning destitute. It indicates a poor person, without money, a house, or a home. A masculine noun meaning bush. It refers to a bush or a shrub living in the desert or dry wilderness. It is used to compare a person who trusts only in people to this hopeless, isolated shrub.”
- This is a person who is incapable of seeing anything good coming their way: They are incapable of seeing anything good because they are so focused on what others can do for them. This is a pessimistic person.
- This is an unproductive person: Jeremiah tells us, “He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.” (v.6) Have you seen the rough neighborhoods; I know that the music industry attempts to glorify that life, but the Bible calls those, places of wilderness, not much life is found there.
Our society has become a society where the dependency on men is demanded. Therefore, our society is filled with folks who are cursed. This is the reason they can’t get ahead; they have no expectations other than to have others do what they should be capable of doing themselves. Hollywood, the media, social media, sports figures, and the government promote this dependability in men as they turn people’s hearts away from God and away from the talents God has already placed in each one of us. Talents are to be used for the glory of God, to bless others, and… yes… to make a living. Every ministry or anything designed to help humans in need must have, as their main foundational goals to teach 1) reliability in God and, 2) the discovery of their God-given abilities. Jeremiah continues by stating,
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green,and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
Do you see the difference between those who trust man and those who trust God?
- When we trust God, we are blessed
- When we trust God, we have no fear.
- When we trust God, we have no anxiety.
- When we trust God, we prosper despite the circumstances around us.
 Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 128.
 Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 874.
Leave a Reply