Jeremiah 17:9 reads…
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? – (NLT)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? – (KJV)
Crooked is the heart above all things, And it is incurable — who doth know it? – (YLT)
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, (Jeremiah 17:5-11)
He who puts confidence in man, shall be like the heath in a desert, a naked tree, a sorry shrub, the product of barren ground, useless and worthless. Those who trust to their own righteousness and strength, and think they can do without Christ, make flesh their arm, and their souls cannot prosper in graces or comforts. Those who make God their Hope, shall flourish like a tree always green, whose leaf does not wither. They shall be fixed in peace and satisfaction of mind; they shall not be anxious in a year of drought. Those who make God their Hope, have enough in him to make up the want of all creature-comforts. They shall not cease from yielding fruit in holiness and good works. The heart, the conscience of man, in his corrupt and fallen state, is deceitful above all things. It calls evil good, and good evil; and cries peace to those to whom it does not belong. Herein the heart is desperately wicked; it is deadly, it is desperate. The case is bad indeed, if the conscience, which should set right the errors of other faculties, is a leader in the delusion. We cannot know our own hearts, nor what they will do in an hour of temptation. Who can understand his errors? Much less can we know the hearts of others, or depend upon them. He that believes God’s testimony in this matter, and learns to watch his own heart, will find this is a correct, though a sad picture, and learns many lessons to direct his conduct. But much in our own hearts and in the hearts of others, will remain unknown. Yet whatever wickedness there is in the heart, God sees it. Men may be imposed upon, but God cannot be deceived. He that gets riches, and not by right, though he may make them his hope, never shall have joy of them. This shows what vexation it is to a worldly man at death, that he must leave his riches behind; but though the wealth will not follow to another world, guilt will, and everlasting torment. The rich man takes pains to get an estate, and sits brooding upon it, but never has any satisfaction in it; by sinful courses it comes to nothing. Let us be wise in time; what we get, let us get it honestly; and what we have, use it charitably, that we may be wise for eternity.
A child. One whom is beaten severely with a leather belt. One who hides beneath their bed as a father searches for them with the intention of beating them. A loving daddy whose punishment will be disgorged upon His beautiful child. True love? Although the kid had already been excused from a debt, the father demands that the child still pay. Even though the father knew the child could never possess a heart that would have the capacity to pay such a high cost, the father still demands perfection.
“You will be perfect, and your debt is no longer paid!” A phrase the child hears each time he is beaten. His loving father proclaims that it is through those beatings that he is conditioning the heart of the child, molding him into perfection. His father before him, the abusive clergyman, told his son that through the physical and mental abuse he too would become like God. The fathers beat their children into the righteousness not found within their already broken hearts. Their hearts, full of natural deceit, as they entered this world of sin.
If we beat someone enough, they become more loving, right?
Do you run from the Lord in fear, or is He a good father who longs to show you just how precious you are to Him?
Our hearts are deceitful above all things. Who can understand it? Our heavenly father does, and He awaits our willingness to allow Him to mend it. Being beaten by the hand of someone with the deceitful heart certainly robs the joy found in Christ. The beating Christ received was sufficient. May we all put down our belts and seek His true definition of love.