Jeremiah 9:23-24 - The Verses Project

Bible Jeremiah 9:23-24

Posted September 22, 2014

"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."

We were born to boast. Not in ourselves, our wisdom, our might, our physical appearance, our gifting, or our finances. What or who were we created to boast in? Our lungs were gifted with breath in order that we might live in relationship with the God of the universe, and in turn, boast and delight in Him. The Westminster Catechism summarizes this truth by asking, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

What went wrong? Our God-glorifying boasting was commandeered and perverted as Adam and Eve turned away from their Maker in the Garden of Eden and boasted in their own wisdom as over God’s wisdom. Mankind’s bent is now to boast in all the wrong things; things that don’t last and don’t have ultimate value! We, like Adam and Eve, think we know better than God and our actions show how self-reliant our hearts are.

The good news is that God didn’t leave us in our dark and misguided boasting, but orchestrated a glorious plan to redeem us, re-aligning us with our truest purpose, namely boasting in God. God sent us His only Son, who lived the perfect life we could not, died the death our prideful hearts deserved, and was raised on the third day. This Jesus made a way for rebel boasters like you and me to reconcile with the One they had spurned.

What are we to boast in now? Jeremiah tells us: We should boast in the amazing fact that we can understand and know God and what He’s like. Of course, our “understanding” of God is but a finite understanding. We can never know God fully, but we can know Him truly. We come to know God not by our own theories or concoctions, but rather God’s own self-disclosure, particularly through His Son. The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible commented, “The boasting that Jeremiah urges as a consequence of one’s knowledge of the Lord (and not one’s own qualities) anticipates the gospel. Our union with Christ by faith is the basis for any merit that we have before God, as what characterizes Christ’s perfect humanity becomes ours—imputed to us by his grace. We have the confidence and comfort of knowing that our acceptance by God is perfect, since it is based on Christ’s perfect acceptance by the Father (Rom. 3:21–26; Eph. 2:5–6). God would have to turn his back on his own Son, to turn his back on those who are united to his Son.”

If you’re interested in exploring this topic more, consider digging in deeper by reading AW Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” or JI Packer’s “Knowing God.”


Song by Ariella Wilson, Ryan Gikas, Dustin Ragland, and Philip Hunsicker.
Artwork by Scott Scrivner.