I’ve been reading the prophets in my bible plan. I know a lot of people don’t like this stuff because it seems all gloom and doom. Yes, indeed, there are lots of graphic warnings, but that is true throughout the bible. Jesus never shied away from these tough messages. I find them very inspiring and hope-filling. They are so rich in discovering who God is, what makes him tick, so-to-say, and how we might worship him as he desires. Take this morsel, for example:
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight.
The first part is a list of worldly boasting. Is it exhaustive? Hardly. You might add beauty and charm to it, for example. We see plenty of these things all over the place, on shows such as “Undercover Billionaire” and other such nonsense as that, including politics. How intoxicating must it be for politicians to deliver a speech to crowds of worshippers? Might the temptation be great to keep that addiction going? Of course, it is.
God tells us to NOT get involved with all this. Instead, we are to boast in something entirely different – God himself. We are to boast in our understanding of the Lord. Now, let’s make sure we get this right. We aren’t to boast in how smart WE are regarding things of God but rather how magnificent HE is. My salvation is a gift of God. Shall I boast that my lips pledged allegiance to him? That I was so wise as to choose him? Nope. Instead, I should boast in amazement that he had mercy on my rebellious soul. The more we understand these things, we see that it has less to do with us and more to do with Him. Really, there is nothing in us to boast about. God is the only one who deserves credit.
What about verse 24? God wraps it up by saying, “For in these things I delight.” Does he delight that we boast in knowing the Lord? I suppose there is a sense in that this pleases him, but God doesn’t need us to make him complete. No, I think the things God delights with in this passage is in what he practices: steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. In these things God delights.
It’s in these things that God delights. In fact, he says he practices them. Did you catch that? God practices them. Think about that.
Also think, about what it is that he practices. Steadfast love. Justice. Righteousness. How long do you think you would need to spend before you understand these things? Do you suppose we would be wise to spend time on this? I think so.
Wouldn’t that make an interesting bible study? To learns what the bible has to say about these attributes? I’m sure you just recoiled a bit on this idea. Who has time to read the bible let alone do a deep study on what God has to teach us about his steadfast love? Or justice? Or righteousness? Who has that kind of time?
You and I do, that’s who. God has given us all the time we need to get what needs to be done. He has also prioritized our schedule. If we can’t find time so that we might we might understand and know God, whose fault is that? How can we boast on God if we won’t take the time he has given us to learn what he has to teach us?
“But I am so busy,” sounds like I’m boasting in myself, doesn’t it?
Father, please prioritize my life according to your will. Not mine. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers