Jeremiah 17

Talks for Growing Christians

Wickedness of the Heart

Jeremiah 17

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Lesson Number 17

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.
  2. The heart is covetous and extremely selfish.

Practical Application

  1. Be like a tree and not a hanging basket!


  1. What were the sins of Judah which Jeremiah recorded in verses 1 and 2?
  2. What is God’s purpose in searching a man’s heart and testing his mind?
  3. The heart (verse 9) stands for the source of our ___________ and ____________, both conscious and unconscious.
  4. In Jeremiah’s prayer (verses 14-18), he reviewed six roles that the Lord fulfilled in his life. List them by verse.
  5. Why were the people consistently dishonoring the Sabbath and not resting as the Law commanded?


  1. They had hearts of stone upon which sin was written instead of God’s law. They were placing their sacrifices on the pagan altars of the high places rather than on the brazen altar at the Lord’s Temple. Also, their children had become involved in idol worship.
  2. Verse 10 tells us that God searches the heart and tests the mind in order to “give every man according to his own ways and according to the fruit of his own doings.” In other words, the Lord knows how to give each person just what he or she deserves.
  3. The heart stands for the source of our thinking and acting, both conscious and unconscious.
  4. Jeremiah listed these roles of the Lord in his life: Savior (14), Healer (14), Vindicator (15,16), Comforter (17), Refuge (17), and Avenger (18).
  5. The people were so materialistic and covetous, they were unwilling to give up the Sabbath as another day to make money. They were more interested in turning a profit than in honoring God.


  1. Does the Sabbath law apply to the church today? Who was this law addressed to, and is it mentioned in the New Testament? For the Christian, is Sunday the new Sabbath? How should we treat the Lord’s Day (Sunday)?


  1. Jeremiah uses the familiar illustration of the man whose trust and hope is in the Lord being like a tree planted by the river. Is your trust and hope so deeply grounded in the Lord that when hard times come your faith will not “wither,” your heart will not be anxious, and you will be able to continue yielding fruit? When you remember all that the Lord is to you, as Jeremiah did, it will bring a stronger faith, a confident and content heart, and a continuing zeal for service.

Key Verses

  • “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7

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