Home > Jeremiah Was a Dragon-Man > Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: If You’re Gonna Boast…

Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: If You’re Gonna Boast…

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

I don’t know how often I’ve boasted of any of these things. I’ve certainly never boasted in riches. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to boast about having wisdom because most people who do are fools. I may have boasted in might, insofar as that means a physical strength advantage over others. The point is that actually bragging about these things is probably not an issue for me, but if I’m honest, there are many times when I would like to be able to brag about these things.

I think in the case in Jeremiah, boasting about having these things is imprudent not because these things are bad, but because they are nothing beside YHWH. Boasting in wisdom, might, and riches is a signifier of how important they are to a person. During this time of impending violent judgment (and in the context of Jeremiah 9 and 10), I think boasting in these things is an indicator of one’s trust in them as tools to keep themselves from the suffering about to be endured. The exhortation not to boast is an exhortation to be humble, yes, and also to put trust alone in YHWH for salvation.

I don’t boast in wisdom, riches, or might very often. Neither do most people I know (poor weak fools tend to befriend like kind). However, as mentioned above, sometimes I would like to be able to boast in these things. When I’m low on cash with an unsure financial future, I long to brag about monetary riches. When I don’t know what to do and feel hopeless about future direction, I’d give anything to brag about my wisdom. When I’m being taken advantage of and feel powerless, I want to boast of my might. The times I want to be able to boast in these things is the times when I fear having a lack of them, and the reason I’m afraid of not having these things is because in some ways, during some moments, I trust these things for blessing, guidance, and safety.

The reality is the value of these beneficial positions is nothing beside knowing God. Their capacity to protect and help is negligible. True riches, true wisdom, and true strength are only acquired through knowing and understanding God, to whom riches, wisdom, and might are nothing. Boasting in His ability to save and trusting that because of who He is, loving, righteous, and just, YHWH will save those who reflect Him. When judgment comes, it is not the protections of the pagan world which will bring salvation, it is the practice of love, justice, and righteousness that demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of the Father. If He delights in these things, He will protect those who are exhibiting them in the world.

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