Things To Glory In And Things Not To
Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight.” Speaking for God, Jeremiah says here are some things you should and should not glory in. When he uses the word “glory” he’s meaning boast—things you should and should not boast in. The first one in vs. 23 he says not to boast about is, “Let not the wise man glory (or boast) in his wisdom.” The trouble with people today is that too many people think they know more than what God does. You could win100 straight games on the TV show Jeopardy, and you have to be fairly smart just to get on the show, and still only have scratched the surface of what God knows. Yet many folks, who couldn’t even pass the test to qualify to be a contestant on Jeopardy, still think they know more than what God does. How pathetic that is! But diseases like dementia and alsheimers sure can take away any wisdom we do have in a short period of time, and it can rob us of the ability to even know who we are or where we’re at. Never allow the words of any human being, no matter how much you look up to them or respect them, never allow their words to be treated higher than God’s words. Here’s why—human wisdom will fail, but the Word of God will stand forever! The second thing vs. 23 says we’re not to boast of is might. Whether we are talking about military might, physical strength, or might, or even technical skill, we shouldn’t boast in any of them. We shouldn’t boast because strength and skill can be lost rather quickly. I started back to the gym a few weeks ago after being away from there for a few weeks while I was sick. I am amazed how quickly you can lose the strength you had. It was almost like starting all over again, trying to get my strength back. How quickly we can lose out strength! The same is true militarily. Everyone that wants us to cut our military back needs to realize that when you do that you don’t just snap your fingers and it comes back to full strength when you need it. I want to be as strong as I can be for my age. Still dealing with cancer has made me a long ways from being there right now, but at least I’m working at it. I also want my country to remain strong, but Psalm 46:1says, “God is our refuge and strength.” To this day, He’s still “an ever present help in time of trouble”, if we want Him to be. Boast in His strength and might, not your own. Thirdly, we shouldn’t boast in our riches. Nothing makes me any more disgusted than listening to somebody brag about how much money they have. Well, why shouldn’t we brag about our money if we have some? Well, for starters, just brag about how much you have to the wrong person and they might stick a knife in your back and say, “How about giving me some of it”. It’s not too smart to advertise how much money you have, but braggarts just can’t seem to help themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would rather have some money than not have any. Who wouldn’t? But wealth can be passed on to you by your family without you doing a blessed thing to earn it, so what is there to brag about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth? But money certainly can’t buy everything, and contrary to what many think, having money doesn’t make you better than anybody else. It only takes a few bad days on Wall Street, as we’ve seen so far this year, to move you from riches to rags with the snap of a finger. Everything I have I give the Lord the credit for helping me get it. But I don’t brag about what I’ve been able to accumulate. I humbly say, “Thank God for all He has given and entrusted me with!” So, don’t boast about your money or your stuff—boast in the Lord! True riches come from Him! In vs. 24 we’re told if we want to boast about something we should boast about understanding and knowing God. The only real basis for wisdom and happiness lies in knowing God. God takes no delight in our own wisdom, might, or wealth. What out of any of that do we have that He didn’t give us anyway? And God likes it when His people boast about Him, and about what He has done. That’s what our testimony ought to be about— boasting about what God has done for us. But I’ve seen professing Christians think they were testifying for the Lord and all they ever said was “I did this”, or “I did that”. Good testimonies that are worth listening to don’t center round the word “I”, they center round Him! What do you boast about? The Lord, I hope, if you’re smart!