Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24).
The downfall of Israel was their failure to keep God as their glory their pride and joy. Through the prophet, God announced, “I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands” (Jer. 1:16). Israel’s forsaking Jehovah God and turning to false manufactured gods was identified as two evils (Jer. 2:13). Turning their backs upon God, the nation soon lost its righteous character.
Israel had been a people who reverenced and humbled themselves to the Lord (Ex. 14:31). Being delivered from their enemy, and with the hope of the land of promise before them, the nation gloried in God’s strength (Ex. 15:2), magnified Him for His power (Ex. 15:3-12), and praised Him for the greatness of His mercy (Ex. 15:13). They delighted in their God, whose strength and marvelous works would cause nations to “fear and dread” (Ex. 15:14-16). They exalted Him for His faithfulness (Ex. 15:17) and acknowledged His sovereignty over them (Ex 15:18).
But Israel became fat with its own greatness (Jer. 5:25-28). Prospering in the land of promise and enjoying the bountiful blessings of God, they turned from His glory and gloried in themselves. They forsook justice and mercy (Jer. 5:28b) and became wise in their own eyes (Isa. 5:21). Thus, the prophet wept for Israel: “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people” (Jer. 9:1)! Moreover, the Lord pleaded with His people (Jer. 9:23-24.
Brothers and sisters, what is our pride and joy? What is our boasting? In whom do we glory? The apostle Paul declared, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). As children of God, we “have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:4), neither trust we in the uncertain riches of this world (1 Tim. 6:17). Rather, we gladly “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:8). May we ever glory in this!