Our lives are spent accomplishing everything from project, compiling a great work of historical value, loving others, bringing peace, causing war, attaining friends, knowledge, wealth, and a number of others simply limited by our imagination. It seems only natural to be excited about that which weve done before, or are on the verge of completion. I can think of a number of things that Im excited about from my past; skiing in particular. What are we to do, to boast of, to be excited about, to tell to others?
This is what the Lord says:
Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom,
or the strong man boast of his strength,
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understand and knows me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight. ~Jeremiah 9:23-24
Lets make some quick observations, we shouldnt boast of our wisdom/knowledge, strength/abilities, or wealth/assets. Rather we should focus those efforts and boast on our understanding and knowledge of God. Who is kind, just, and righteous. OK so it looks like I just rewrote the scripture, but stay with me. We are to talk of our understanding and relationship with God. To spend our eternities, starting now, speaking of the Love of God and his divine and perfect Love. Honestly, why does it matter
Those who spend life desiring wisdom, strength or riches will end up suffocated within pride, self supporting, and contempt for those around them. The belief and thought of understanding (wisdom) leads to judgment against others, it is inevitable that a level of knowledge will somehow oppress someone within your sphere of understanding. There is no human way to gain complete understanding and thus we will skew and believe we know more than we do. Relying upon our strength and abilities will only lead to our demise, no matter how amazing a writer, or strong an athlete youre personal life will never disappear and no strengths can keep the world from crushing you. The final point, riches, is the simplest to dismiss as your wealth is only of this world, it will leave you the moment you leave it, and you will be sitting with little if any reward for your time on earth (if you are fortunate enough to know God).
The old testiment is written very poetically, and the order of subject and phrases is often very important. When lined up you have Wisdom/Kindness, Strength/Justice, and Riches/Righteousness. Quickly; Wisdom does not lead to gentleness and kindness of heart, rather hardened hearts, Strength leads to enforcing views and conquering not to justice, and Riches are gained by cheating and loose morals (the opposite of righteousness). By seeking or even possessing those attributes we are unable to genuinely understand who God is, as it is impossible to move from one attribute to the other, related characteristic of God.
Here is the kicker, those who boast in the Lord, he delights in. When the Lord is delighting in you he blesses you, think of the parent who is glowing over their kin, they give what they can for their child, whatever he needs is given. For the Lord, who owns everything, he desires the same for you and wants nothing but the best for you.
I could keep going, but Ill let you seek the Lord and fill in the remaining parts of the application of this verse to your life. Boasting with you all about Christ!
If you have questions about knowing Him, let me know.