"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? The following verse says, "I, the LORD search the heart, I test the mind..."
Jeremiah, in 17:9 gives his opinion and observation about the state of everyone's mind and heart--(deceitful, sick,) and then he asks, "who can understand it?" Of course, the LORD answers Jeremiah, "I search the heart. I test the mind--I understand mankind." But Jeremiah never asks the question that is uppermost in the mind of everyone who's honest with himself, when he wrestles with his own sins, his own problems--"Who can cure it?" Many of us go through life without asking that question except in the moments when we have no choice but to face ourselves--we're physically ill. Some tragedy overtakes us. We make bad choices and have to experience the consequences.
Who can cure my sickness of heart? That is the real question, and Jeremiah not only never asks that question, he evidently doesn't even consider that such a change is possible--however, the LORD later reveals to Jeremiah that these changes ARE possible--even integral with faith and worship:
Jeremiah 31:33-34: this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
This is the greatest message in the world: Healing from the evils that live in our own hearts, healing from the desperate wickedness that we face as part of the human race.
There are those, of course, who say that all we need is evolutionary improvement, and that humanity is advancing each generation, but anyone who reads the news, anyone who examines himself honestly, knows that is not true. What IS true is that the human race seems poised to descend into a pit of violence and evil that appears only to increase with each generation, and the cruelties of the last century merge into the cruelties of this century, and also to increase with our growing population. We are in "self-destruct mode," and we cannot stop what's happening. However, there is an answer.
More in the next post.