Sunday, October 29, 2023

Sayings of Jeremiah (5) Excessively Pleased Jeremiah 9:23-24

By Ron Thomas
    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.”
    What does “boast” or “boasting” mean? The American Standard Version uses the word “glory,” while most others (all that I checked) use the word “boast.” Merriam Webster defines the word to mean “excessive pride in oneself.” If this definition stands, we get why the Lord would be against those who glory in themselves.
    I remember when I was in high school there was a friend of mine that seemed always to be able to get “one -up” on others (at least this seemed to be the case as I recall it). When we had our 20th high
school reunion, I received the same impression from him as that which I had in high school. What he said may have been the truth from bottom to top, but I remember thinking that I had doubts about it.
    Have you come across people who might have been similar? It seems like they boast about this or that, resulting in you wondering if there is any substance to what it is they are boasting about. In the days of Jeremiah, as it is in our day, the same existed. When one boasts about accomplishments, others hear and may be inclined to extend good wishes, but those good wishes evaporate quickly when boasting continues. We are reminded, there is nothing new under the sun; every generation has many who think much of their accomplishments. If accomplishments are not real, then fabrications occur.
    To what was Jeremiah giving attention? As you look at Jeremiah 9:23, there are 3 points to notice. First, man’s wisdom. Second, man’s might. Third, man’s wealth.
    Man’s wisdom, whatever it might be in the way of usefulness, is only temporary wisdom. It may have a great deal of benefit in this world, but will it prepare one’s life for judgment when life in this world is over? The wisdom one gains from this world's experience has a termination point, not so with the wisdom gained from learning of and from the Lord.
    Man’s might, whatever it may be, is not nearly as strong as he thinks it is. I have often said, this country’s military is the strongest on earth, but if the Lord is against our country (I wonder if He is), a country the size of Rhode Island will defeat us in short order. There is no might that can overcome the Lord’s might.
    Man’s wealth, whatever it is, has only a short-term existence. You may have a million dollars in the bank for retirement, but if the Lord calls you to stand before Him, what will that retirement income do for you?
    As you reflect on the propriety of boasting, let us not have “excessive pride” in those things that we’ve done or the wealth we attained. Instead, let us glory in the Lord and be “excessively” pleased He has mercy on us. 

- Ron Thomas preaches for the Church of Christ at Rio Grande in Bidwell, OH. He may be contacted at

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