This is what the LORD says:
The wise must not boast in his wisdom;
the mighty must not boast in his might;
the rich must not boast in his riches.
But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me —
that I am the LORD, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the LORD‘s declaration. – Jeremiah 9:23-24
I thought it was interesting that, when I looked up the word boast, this was the definition:
to speak of with excessive pride; to possess and
call attention to something that is a source of pride
God knows that we are very susceptible to pride. We all want something that we can take pride in. Unfortunately, we often choose the wrong things. He just lays it all out for us here. Are you smart? Don’t take any pride in that because My thoughts are higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9.) Are you strong? Don’t take any pride in that because you are here today and gone tomorrow (Job 14:2.) Are you wealthy? Don’t take any pride in that because it all came from me anyway (James 1:17.)
However, He does not leave us there…deflated and with nothing to boast about. Something about the phrasing of this makes me smile…God telling us…Hey, you need something to be proud of…boast in this…We can boast about our God.
What should one boast about…
That he understands…It would be foolish to believe that we can, here on earth, understand everything about God and the way He works. However, we can boast in the fact that He does give understanding to a seeking heart. The psalmist tells us in Psalm 119 that he had more understanding than his teachers because he studied and followed God’s statutes (verse 100). It would be easy to think that only certain people could understand God’s Word. That is just not how God works. The only requirement for gaining understanding is that we seek to understand. No amount of education or intelligence can compare with the understanding that comes when God reveals something to us.
And He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. – Luke 24:45
That he knows me…It is hard to even fathom that a holy God would allow us to know Him. The Hebrew word used here is yada. One of the definitions for this word is to know by experience. I love that. I can know things about God because of the experiences I have had with Him. God is constant and unchanging, however, everyone can have a unique knowledge of God based on their personal experiences with Him. What a privilege to know Him and be known by Him…it’s worth every effort on our part to seek Him. To Paul, it was worth everything…
But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. – Philippians 3:7-11 HCSB
Paul did not take knowing God lightly…it was, and is, something to boast about.