Daily Manna for today is Jeremiah 17:5-8
Thus says the LORD,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the LORD.
'For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
'Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
'For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.”
Though my flesh is certainly not my strength, I still tend to trust in mankind. I must guard my heart from turning away from the Self-Existent God.
Not recognizing prosperity is a common characteristic, and the church evidences that when we fail to recognize who we are as co-heirs with Christ, the King of kings. A bush in the desert is stunted, and living in this world without the richness of Christ is like living in a stony waste, a land of salt without inhabitant.
To Jeremiah, salt was money, as it was in demand for preserving meat without today’s refrigeration. A land of salt without inhabitant would indeed be a waste, as not even salt-gatherers would be there. Jeremiah is picturing a man barely holding onto life under a lean-to, perched atop what amounts to a field of gold without even realizing it.
The man who trusts in YHWH and whose trust is YHWH holds two distinct aspects of trust: First, his trust, in the sense of his substance, is invested in YHWH. Thus, the investor anticipates receiving the dividends God has promised for such an investment, as listed in the balance of this passage. Second, his trust is YHWH, personally. So completely has he placed his trust in God that his trust has taken on the Eternal One’s very identity, inseparable from the man’s hopes, dreams and aspirations.
What the prophet began with a curse turned into the promise of a glorious blessing for those of us who heed his warning. But that’s what prophets do.