“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; (Jeremiah 9:23)
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 9:24)
He would prattle on incessantly about all the stuff he had, the places he had been, the famous elbows he had rubbed, and how insightful and wise he was because of it all. I was not impressed; not at all. A story here or there would have a twist and turn of interest; some were even half believable. My polite but benign reactions led to an unstated rift between us. Every chance he got, he would belittle me because I did not have this, had not been there, did not know who and such. And my worst transgression of all – his “brilliance and wisdom” seemed to zoom right over the top of my head. I knew how he felt. When I would speak to him about faith and Jesus, he would instantly begin to pontificate on religious matters and the enlightened ideas of the world’s great sages – and remain purposely clueless about faith and the things of God.
In my dealings with that wise, mighty and rich man, the scripture above came to mind quite often. He was Jeremiah 9:23 with legs. He is not alone, though, is he? The world is full up to its neck with such people. It seems endless: the people who glory in things and the things in which people glory. Surrounded by such, the challenge becomes evident, will you, will I, be Jeremiah 9:24 with legs? Will we glory only in understanding and knowing the Lord God and all His attributes? That is, after all, our calling.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that, as is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
Which would best describe you, describe me? Are we Jeremiah 9:23 people or are we Jeremiah 9:24 people? It makes all the difference now and forever.