Look to God, Not to Man

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” Jeremiah 17:5-65Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 6For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (Jeremiah 17:5‑6)
“Cursed” is not a light word. This assessment comes from God, so it is powerful. Cursed is the man that trusts in man. How often we do just that. We look to a friend, a group of people, our husband, or even a child, and expect them to meet our needs, rather than looking to the Lord, who is fully able to meet our needs. People all fail, so if we’re looking to them, we will be disappointed.
The desert-dwelling “heath tree” is a species of juniper tree, with a “gloomy, stunted appearance” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). Can’t we just picture it  ...  dry all around, a tree struggling to “hang in there,” getting no moisture from above or below? Haven’t we each been there? If we look to a fellow human to meet our needs, we will eventually find ourselves in just such a barren land. God says so. “And shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land.” Parched places, salt land, where if we try to drink, we’ll only be made more thirsty. Worse yet, even if good does come (for our wonderful Father is always sending His rain on the good and evil), we won’t see it, perhaps because we’re too busy bemoaning our sad lot in life. “And not inhabited.” We’ll be lonely if we are looking to find our satisfaction from people — even from our own family. That expectation also places an unhealthy pressure on them to meet our heart needs that only a relationship with the Lord can meet. Only trusting in the Lord to satisfy us will bring fullness of joy. “It is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God” (Ps. 73:28).