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Quiet Time in Jeremiah 17

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Jeremiah 17 (HCSB)

The Persistent Sin of Judah

1 The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus. With a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their altars,

2 while their children remember their altars and their Asherah poles, by the green trees on the high hills—

3 My mountains in the countryside. I will give up your wealth and all your treasures as plunder because of the sin of your high places in all your borders.

4 You will, on your own, relinquish your inheritance that I gave you. I will make you serve your enemies in a land you do not know, for you have set My anger on fire; it will burn forever.

Curse and Blessing

5 This is what the Lord says:

The man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed.

6 He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives.

7 The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.

8 He will be like a tree planted by water:

it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.

The Deceitful Heart

9 The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?

10 I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.

11 He who makes a fortune unjustly is like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn’t lay. In the middle of his days his riches will abandon him, so in the end he will be a fool.

12 A throne of glory on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

13 Lord, the hope of Israel, all who abandon You will be put to shame. All who turn away from Me will be written in the dirt, for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah’s Plea

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for You are my praise.

15 Hear how they keep challenging me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come!”

16 But I have not run away from being Your shepherd, and I have not longed for the fatal day. You know my words were spoken in Your presence.

17 Don’t become a terror to me. You are my refuge in the day of disaster.

18 Let my persecutors be put to shame, but don’t let me be put to shame. Let them be terrified, but don’t let me be terrified. Bring on them the day of disaster; shatter them with total destruction.

Observing the Sabbath

19 This is what the Lord said to me, “Go and stand at the People’s Gate, through which the kings of Judah enter and leave, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Announce to them: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: Watch yourselves; do not pick up a load and bring it in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 22 You must not carry a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but you must consecrate the Sabbath day, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23 They wouldn’t listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline.

24 “However, if you listen to Me, says the Lord, and do not bring loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day and consecrate the Sabbath day and do no work on it, 25 kings and princes will enter through the gates of this city. They will sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses with their officials, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26 Then people will come from the cities of Judah and from the area around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Judean foothills, from the hill country and from the Negev bringing burnt offerings and sacrifice, grain offerings and frankincense, and thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 If you do not listen to Me to consecrate the Sabbath day by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, I will set fire to its gates, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem and not be extinguished.”


SIN (verse 5): For so many years, I have put my trust in mankind and my strength in my own flesh, Father. Please forgive me for having a misaligned focus in my life. Help me to always keep my focus, my trust, and my strength in and through You, Father. Forgive me for the mistakes of my past in trusting mankind’s ways over Yours. Forgive me for my mistakes of my past in relying on my own strength through this life’s struggles instead of going to You for Your strength. Help me to remember to lean on You through all things in this life, Father, so that I may only trust in You and always go to You for strength instead of relying on my own. Thank You for always providing more to me than this world has to offer and for always being faithful to me even when I have strayed so much.

PROMISE (verses 9-10): In these verses You make us a promise about our hearts and the tests You will put us through. You promise us that our hearts are very deceitful in this life. You promise that You will test our hearts according to the ways they need to be tested. You assure us that You know exactly what tests we need to endure and what we’re deserving of in those tests. Thank You for always pushing me, Father, to be better through these tests in my life. Even though I have failed many tests, Your glory has shown through all of them and I am grateful that I have become a stronger believer and follower as a result. Thank You.

ATTITUDE (verses 14-15): Jeremiah’s attitude in these two verses is one that I have struggled with so often in my life. Help me to have an attitude that praises You through all things, Father. Help me to embrace the challenges of this life because Your word gives me the strength to take on anything; whether from the world, from You, or from the enemy. Help me to walk in confidence that Your word provides me on a daily basis, so that I may glorify You through all things that happen in this life instead of living in the fear that my flesh often produces in me.

COMMAND (verse 7): You tell us to trust in You through all things. Having trust in You through all things, gives us the confidence we require in this life through You, which leads to us living a blessed life regardless of the trials we may go through. Help me to live a life more trusting of You, Father. I’ve struggled with this often over the years and even recently with some of my health issues that are being discovered as I’m out-processing the military for my retirement. Help me to put my worrying aside and trust You through all things as You’ve commanded us here, so that no matter the trials or outcomes, I am blessed because I have trusted in You through it all.

EXAMPLE (verse 5, 7, 14-15): So many examples for us to follow and live in through this Scripture, Father. Help me to be more like Jeremiah by being in constant praise and worship of You through all things in this life, even when I am being tested in a negative way by the world or the enemy. Help me to remember that the ways of my sinful heart are not the ways You want me to live. Help me to keep my focus and trust on You through all things, just as Jeremiah did, so that I may be blessed without worry or fear in this life; glorifying You through all that I think, say, and do in this life. Thank You, again, Father, for always providing practical and understandable examples for me to live by so that I may live a more rewarding life that glorifies You through anything I may encounter.

*DAILY NOTE: You’re always able to speak to me in a way that I understand, but also in the way that I need to be spoken to in the moment. Many will see the words in this Scripture and won’t see lessons that You are trying to teach them because they aren’t ready for it in that moment. Thank You for speaking to me in Your time always, Father, because You know when I am ready to hear the counsel You are providing to me. You know when I am willing to accept the instructions You are giving to me. Your timing is always perfect, even if I may not understand some of it in the moment, so I just want to say thank You for always providing good counsel and instruction for me at times that I’m ready and willing to accept it, even if I may be a bit stubborn in those moments in the actionable side of things. Thank You!

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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