Boast Not in Wisdom, Might, or Riches

from Lynda Lindsey

Return, faithless Israel, faithless children, faithless sons and daughters: And I will give you shepherds after My own heart who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15

To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. Jeremiah 6:10

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 9:23-34

God’s people, boasting in their worldly wisdom, their might and strength, their ill-gotten gain and wealth, forsook God and everything God delights in, to follow the evil inclinations of their own hearts. Apostate Judah, like stubborn, prideful, foolish children, stopped up her ears, refusing to hear God’s warnings. Judah reveled in evil, keeping it fresh, doing all the evil she could until she didn’t know how to do any good at all. Judah’s only wisdom was in practicing evil; she exchanged God’s glory for that which doesn’t profit until she no longer had any true knowledge and understanding.

God, broken-hearted by His people’s faithlessness, offered countless opportunities for healing and restoration. If people would repent, return, seek God’s face, confess spiritual adultery and sin and remove idols and detestable things from God’s presence, God would give His people godly shepherds to teach God’s truth. God would replace the polluted, stagnant water people drank from their sin-cisterns with fountains of fresh living water. But with hearts grown cold and indifferent, people rebuffed and scorned God. Finally God allowed the Babylonians to discipline His defiant children.

Mercifully God preserved a remnant to return and live again in God’s truth, justice and righteousness. Hard hearts, like hard stony soil, must be broken open, made receptive and ready for sowing God’s truth. Stopped up ears and hardened, calcified hearts must be circumcised, fleshly desires cut away, excised like cancerous tumors. God-followers should be renowned for doing all the good we can. Hearts are easily deceived; stand fast. Take pleasure only in the Lord’s steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. Revel only in God’s goodness, delight only in the Lord, boast only in knowing Him.