Boast in God (Jeremiah 9:23–24) - Radical

Boast in God (Jeremiah 9:23–24)

“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

Oh, Jeremiah 9:23–24 is worthy of memorization. Not that there’s verses in the Bible that are not worthy of memorization, but I would encourage you, positively encourage you, to memorize this verse, to hide this in your heart.

Jeremiah 9:23–24 Reminds Us Not To Boast

“Let not the wise man boast in wisdom, the mighty man in his might, the rich man in his riches.” We don’t boast in our wisdom, in our might, in our riches, for we have our only boast, our only boast is that we might understand and know God. That’s what we’re designed to boast in.

We are tempted at every turn to boast in things other than God. May we see the foolishness of this and boast only in Jesus Christ.

There’s all kinds of things. This world would say, “Boast that you have this possession, that you have this position, that you have this status, that you have whatever,” there’s so many different things. Then we can think, “I’d be proud to have that. I would love to have this.” And direct all of that toward this one thing, boast in this one thing, that you understand and know God, the God who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the Earth.

Jeremiah 9:23–24 Leads Us to Ask God for Help

So God, we pray that you would deliver us from boasting in these other things that the world constantly tempts us to boast in, and we are so often prone to boast in. God, help us to seek you, help us to understand and know you. God, even as I pray that for my own life, I pray this for my wife and my kids. I pray this for others, families.

I think about all the ways that we are tempted to teach our kids, “Get good grades. Get really good at sports. Get a great education. Find a great spouse.” All these things, it’s not that any of these things are bad, oh God. But if we pursue all these things and we don’t teach our kids to know and understand you, we’ve missed the whole point. This is their greatest boast. We want this to be their boast.

So help us to teach and train and parent them toward that, that their boast would be they know and understand you. God, we pray for this in our lives, in our families, in the churches we’re a part of, and friends, and even those who are without Christ right now. God, we pray that you’d help us to be instruments in your hand to point them to the greatest boast. It’s not in the stuff of this world, but it’s in knowing and understanding you, oh God. Captivate us with this boast today.

This Verse Reminds Us That God Is Most Important

God, we want it to be said in the end, “I knew God.” That’s what I want my boast to be in the end. I pray for this for my life. And I pray for this for those who are listening right now. I pray that that would be their boast in the end. Let it be said, not at all the kinds of world’s wisdom and riches and position and might but God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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