This is what the Lord says:Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,declares the Lord.Jeremiah 9:23-24
What a revelation of the greatness of God! Far beyond the greatness of men, a God of wisdom and knowledge and power is at work. The prophet's heart was directed to think of that. Man's wisdom is not enough.
Let not the wise boast of their wisdom... Why not? Well, because man's wisdom is always partial wisdom. It never sees the whole story, never is it wide enough to take in all the factors involved. It is tunnel vision, narrow and limited. And that is why we are always thinking we have arrived at solutions to problems only to find in a few years that the
solution has only made the problem worse. Pollution is a case in point, is it not? Warfare, and all the other great problems that confront us today. Man's wisdom is not enough. It is limited.
No, you cannot trust in the wisdom of man, can you? Nor in the might of man —
...let not the strong boast of their strength... Why not? Here is a man with great power and authority, a great force at his command to do what he wants — a dictator, a tyrant. Why does he not have the right to boast? Because his force is directed only at material things. It has no power to oppose an idea or a moral value.
...let not the rich boast of their riches... Why not? Because riches can buy only a very limited number of things. Jesus spoke of the deceitfulness of riches. Riches give a man a feeling of power that he does not really have. They give him a feeling of being loved when he really is not, and of being respected when he is not respected at all. Riches cannot buy love and joy and peace and harmony. Many a rich man would give all he possesses for just a few moments of peace or joy.
Then what should you boast in?
Ah, boast in this, Jeremiah, that you know me, and you have available to you the wisdom of God. True wisdom is the wisdom of God, and you can correct your own faulty, frail human wisdom with my wisdom. You have the might of God at your disposal, greater than anything the world knows anything about, a mighty moral force which is irresistible. You have riches beyond all compare, the simple riches of love and peace and joy and grace and mercy and truth, which no money can buy. Boast in this.
Father, no one has the wisdom to cope with the situations in which we live each day. I pray that I will recognize the essential necessity of you in my life, and will stop boasting in my own resources and boast only in you.
Have we discovered that human wisdom and understanding is flawed, inadequate and often deceptive? Do we seek first the wisdom and guidance of God's Spirit, using His Word as our standard?