Jeremiah 16-17:  Blessing and Cursing

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.  Jeremiah 17:5

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 17:7 



Jeremiah’s Celibacy


God called on Jeremiah to act out many of his warnings, as well as to preach.  This obligation caused the faithful prophet to wander among his people, cut off from social relationships, as a lonely and condemning spectre who was increasingly despised.

Signs of Disaster; 16:1-18.  To communicate the grim reality of the approaching disaster, Jeremiah is told not to marry and have children.  Children born in his day will only die of deadly diseases and lie unburied in the streets.  Also, the prophet is not to mourn the death of friends, for God has no compassion left for Judah.  Nor is he to take part in any feasting.  Instead, Jeremiah is told to speak words that condemn, and hold up the sin and faithless of God’s people.  A distant generation will know God’s blessing once again.  But for this people there is only death:  disaster is assured.

Judah’s Sin; 16:19-17:4.  The evil engraved on the hearts of sinful Judah will inevitably bring the judgment deserved.

Psalm of Trust; 17:5-18.  The wickedness of man’s incurable heart can only be healed by trust in God.  This beautiful psalm concludes with an appeal by Jeremiah for vindication (14-18).  He has not run from his heartbreaking and lonely task.  He has served as God’s shepherd to a wayward people.  My God soon bring on the terrors and vindicate the prophet’s ridiculed words!

Despite the personal anguish Jeremiah feels, he faithfully obeys when God sets him at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath, to confront those who break the sabbath law and work on the holy day.  Again he announces doom.

⇒ Where do I put my trust and hope?  Often times I’m feeling disappointed with and rejected by people  and even by family and friends.  Isn’t that because I put my trust and hope in men?

The Lord my God is the one who never disappoints me.  I will be blessed if I learn to trust Him and let Him be my hope.  He teaches me so in this chapter.  He also teaches me not to trust in men no matter how close they are to me.  


Thus says the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm (strength), and whose heart departs from the Lord. Jeremiah 17:5



Careful:  Full of care, anxious, solicitous

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, [3] neither shall cease from yielding fruit.  Jeremiah 17:8

Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.  Luke 10:41

Spectre (specter) an apparition; the appearance of a person who is dead; a ghost


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *