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 (ESV)
The things in which we put our trust and delight in are the things in which we boast. If we trust and delight in our own wisdom when we have difficult decisions, we are boasting in our wisdom. If we look to our own strength, influence and resources to meet our needs, we are boasting in our own might and riches. It isn’t sinful to be wise or mighty or rich, but our boasting is misplaced when our wisdom, might and riches become our source for living and the delight of our heart.
God does not delight in the wisdom, might and riches of man. In fact the wisdom of man is folly to God (1 Corinthians 3:19). Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 ESV)
God desires that all of our boasting be in him; that we boast in understanding and knowing him. We can understand more about God by reading the scriptures; the bible. In the bible we learn about God’s character (Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 85:15; Philippians 2:5-8), we learn about God’s ways (Psalm 25:10; 145:17; John 14:6) and we learn about God’s work (Psalm 102:25; 145:9; John 6:29).
We come know God, that is have a relationship with him, through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Paul continues in Corinthians, And because of him (God) you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ESV)
The very things in which God delights (steadfast love, justice and righteousness) Christ has become to us. In Christ we see the wisdom and might of God (1 Corinthians 1:24), the riches of God (Romans 10:9-13), the steadfast love of God (Romans 5:8), the justice of God (Matthew 12:18-21; Luke 18:7) and the righteousness of God (Romans 3:21-26). To know Christ is to know God. God planned it that way so that all of our boasting would be in him.
Paul wrote to the Galatians, But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14 ESV)
Have you been crucified to the things of this world in which you have boasted? Do you boast in God alone?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Corinthians 3:21