Jeremiah 17:13, “O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.”
Luke 10:20, “…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
There is only one source of life and satisfaction and joy in all the universe, it is YHWH, the only true God. He IS life, He IS goodness, truth, and beauty, He IS the wellspring of every blessing and to turn from Him is to be severed from these things. A human being turned away from the Lord is like a deep sea diver who cuts his oxygen line, or an astronaut who removes his helmet during a space walk, or a branch torn off the vine–the source of life is GONE and death is unavoidable and immanent.
This seems to be something of what Jeremiah is getting at in verse 13 above. His point is that YHWH alone is the “fountain of living water” and that to turn from Him in pursuit of other satisfactions (Jer. 2:13) can only result in shame and final devastation.
Side Note: Consider, there is as pleasure or gladness or enjoyment or beauty apart from YHWH (Ecc.5:19)…even those in rebellion against Him in this life are still able to enjoy something of these because of common grace….but the day is coming when even that grace will be removed.
What particularly caught my attention in this verse this morning was Jeremiah’s words that those who turn from the Lord will be “written in the earth.” This seems to be a picture–not only of inevitable death–but also of the final destiny for those who oppose YHWH. If someone unrepentantly turns from the fountain of eternal life, their destiny is “in the earth” or, in other words, their destiny is to be finally and fully exiled from the gracious presence of God.
Conversely, consider Jesus’ words to His disciples in Luke 10:20. Here He encourages those who have trusted in Him to rejoice because their names are written in heaven. Unlike those who turn from YHWH, those who turn to Him–in the Son who dies and rises again–will see that their names have been written in heaven, penned with crimson in the Book of Life of the Lamb who was Slain (Revelation 8:13, 20:12).
May we not be among those written in the earth, whose destiny is severed from the Lord….instead, may we be those who run to the fountain of living water that was opened for us on Calvary, who turn to the Lord and receive Him as our daily bread, and whose names are–by grace–written in heaven.