“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Do you give glory to God? I believe most of us as Christians give glory to God regarding the awesomeness of His creation (Psalm 19:1) and His love for us (John 3:16). However, as the opening verses above state, do we give glory to God not only when he exercises His mercy and lovingkindness, but also when He exercises His judgment and righteousness (Jeremiah 9:23-24)?
In the 9th chapter of Jeremiah God speaks about His terrible judgment which is coming upon Jerusalem because of her sinful rebellion towards God. God states, “Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through? And the Lord said, ‘Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,’ therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them’” (Jeremiah 9:12-16).
Can you imagine how difficult it would be to live during these times and hear God’s message of the impending doom upon your nation? Furthermore, can you imagine challenging the task would be if you had to be the one to deliver such a message to your fellow countrymen whom you loved? This is the position of the prophet Jeremiah. He describes the difficulty he felt in having to deliver such a message: “Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging place for travelers; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men” (Jeremiah 9:1-2). He wanted to go and hide somewhere!
However, as the opening verses describe, we are to glory that we both “understand” and “know” the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Understanding the Lord, does not just mean we understand and know those attributes that are more easily embraced such as His love, grace, and mercy; it also means that we accept and embrace those characteristics of His that are good and right, but are not as pleasant upon which to dwell, such as His coming judgment and punishment of those who persist in sin. Because God’s justice and punishment for sin is not always enjoyable about which to think, it has led some to deny such Biblical teachings as one having to spend an eternity in Hell as punishment for sin if one refuses to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9).
I want to both “know” and “understand” the Lord. This means I will glory not only in His love, grace, and mercy which He has shown me in great abundance, but I will also glory that I know, understand, and respect that He is righteous when He judges and executes punishment for sin. Today, I will give glory to the great God I serve!
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).