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Seeds of the Kingdom

Boasting

by Liz Griffin

11 October 2010

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Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24, ESV

The prophet Jeremiah is an interesting character because he suffered so much opposition from all the people he preached to with God’s message. What kept him going? It must have been that steady assurance of his relationship with God and the knowledge that he was loved.

He must have studied the word of God and grasped the importance of the wonderful revelation of God’s character of love to Moses. Moses was privileged to be the first to fully understand God’s heart of steadfast love (chesed or covenantal faithfulness) and that He was merciful, gracious, and slow to anger (Exodus 34:6-7). God’s love also includes perfect justice and righteousness which means evil will be rightfully punished.

Yet even the evil people had a chance with God if they turned to Him and repented of their sins. Jeremiah constantly reminded the people of that (as did the other prophets), even though they all pointed out the exact nature of the people’s sins.

The declaration of God’s character was continued throughout the Old Testament in Psalms, Nehemiah, Jonah, and Joel. Moses interceded for the people of Israel based upon this understanding in Numbers 14:16-19. But Jonah didn’t want to intercede for the wicked people of Nineveh so that they would repent and be forgiven, and he was angry when they did repent as a result of the message he delivered to them from God.

Jeremiah tells us that if we are to be wise we should be proud of one thing only, knowing and understanding God. He warns us to be humble and not boast in our intellect, our power or our money. The apostle Paul was later to preach to the Corinthian Church about this and say; ‘you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can know You and trust in Your great love, mercy and kindness towards us. Help us to be humble and not boast in worthless things but to be confident and able to boast in knowing You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.

 

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