WHAT DO WE BOAST ABOUT?
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, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Due to the fact that I was gone to Polishing the Pulpit, as well as my last speaking engagement of the year in a Summer Series, I had gotten behind in my Bible reading. (Satan will always do what he can to keep God’s people from reading God’s word. He knows that is the truth, and he does not want God’s people to know what God requires. Let us always remember that Satan is out to destroy all of God’s words and works in any way he can. And the ultimate prize is God’s people being eternally separated from God throughout eternity. Satan is NOT looking out for our good.
So, while catching up, I came across this passage in Jeremiah 9:23 (quoted above). Let us consider some thoughts and ask ourselves some hard questions as we consider these things.
What do we boast in? Our job? Our friends? Our recreation? Jeremiah states (by inspiration) that a wise man cannot boast in his wisdom, nor the mighty man boast in his might, nor the rich man boast in his riches. Some people brag and boast about how handsome/pretty they are; about their job and the money they make; about so many different things.
For the child of God, we should boast that we know and follow our Lord. Even this term (“know God”) is subject to different interpretations. Some know God slightly – they have heard of him; they may believe that he created the world and have a cursory knowledge of the claims that God has made in his word. The term “know” is often used to designate what we are aware of something by an understanding of some facts (again, consider how two people can hear the same information; come to different conclusions about what they “know” and make different assumptions based on the context and their specific knowledge of the matter in question).
The religious world, with all of its different cults, claims to know God! BUT THAT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM REALLY KNOWING GOD. If we all truly knew God, there would be no contradictions, or misunderstandings as is so prevalent in our culture today. Why? If all of us knew God, and understood his word, would we be as divided as we are?
This is even true in churches of Christ – how many different ways have we divided over things that we all feel strongly about (i.e. drinking from one cup in the Lord’s Supper; how we give the contribution, . . .
Yet, sadly, many of these conclusions are wrong, for they are contradictory of others facts and information that are clearly set out in the Bible.
Romans 14 helps us to understand how we should get along when we disagree on matters of opinion. If we all really knew God, we would delight in what He delights in — . . . that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
If I know God, I will practice steadfast love (used 242 times in the Old Bestament) . “The meaning of the word steadfast is strong devotion or loyalty to a person, belief, or cause. Steadfast is defined as unchanging, firmly fixed in place, immovable, and not subject to change. This word is used to describe God’s love for us; an unchanging love that reveals His character.” (https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+steadfast+love&sca_esv=. . . )
If I know God, then I will practice justice — “Biblical references to the word “justice” mean “to make right.” Justice is, first and foremost, a relational term — people living in right relationship with God, one another, and the natural creation”
Justice is man doing what God says is right and proper, and if we all did so, we would have peace from turmoil. To get along with one another we must first have a relationship with God, and then one another. How else can we know how to treat our fellow man, except by looking at how God has treated mankind. Consider his grace and mercy, but also remember how GOD has created man and has the right to dictate the terms of the relationship he has with man. Sin comes in when we ignore God’s will.
Finally, when man lives according to what God has commanded, righteousness will abound and right will rule. Righteousness is simply doing what is right. Man has often tried to determine what is right and wrong, and erred in so doing (one glaring example is the Holocaust, when man justified the killing of other races just because they were not of a chosen race. THERE WAS NOTHING RIGHTEOUS ABOUT THAT!) Righteousness is living by God’s commands and laws because he created us and know what is best for us!
Many boast about their wisdom, their riches, or their strength and might; let us make sure that we boast that we know God by our steadfast love for him, our justice in doing what he says, and our righteousness in LIVING DAILY for him!
WHAT DO YOU BOAST ABOUT?