By Kevin Cauley
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. 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).
My grandfather worked as a truck driver emptying salt water from oil tanks in west Texas. The water was hauled off and disposed so that the land would not be destroyed. One time, we drove through an area of land that looked like it had been bleached. I asked, “What happened here?” The reply: “A salt water spill.” Sometimes the salt water would leak out of the oil tanks. It left a barren patch of dirt on which nothing would grow killing everything.
Jeremiah’s description of a person who trusts in mankind alone reminds me of these barren patches of land. The ultimate abode of a person who only trusts in the wisdom of man is isolation, loneliness, depression, and an empty life. It is when we trust in God first that life becomes a rich panorama of colorful seasons filled with fruit and gladness. God makes real fellowship with others possible. He is the basis upon which we have successful relationships with others.
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Let us be diligent to love God and to love our neighbor to reap the abundant life (John 10:10).
By Kevin Cauley