“WE CAN NEVER REALLY SEEK GOD IN EARNEST UNTIL WE BEGIN TO DESPAIR OF OURSELVES.” – JOHN CALVIN
In my personal study Jeremiah 9:23-24 has been pressing into my proud heart of flesh. It’s so easy to trust in ourselves, our own works, wisdom, might and riches. I’ve been a Christian for 20 years now and I still battle with depending on self for completeness and wholeness, but it never lasts or itches that spot you’ve been trying so hard to scratch. It’s like a black whole you keep pouring things into, thinking it will satisfy, yet the only thing that will satisfy is a correct knowledge of God and being in relationship with Him.
23 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, 24 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 theLord.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24
If we knew our true nature, were truly aware of our carnal desires and knew the deep misery and depravity that lay within our hearts, we would not be so quick to boast and trust in our own works, wisdom, power, strength and riches. To have wisdom described of in the bible is to have a correct knowledge of God and of ourselves. When we look into the just, righteous, loving, holy face of God, then look back at ourselves we can then come to a correct understanding of self. In Exodus 34 Moses comes down from Mount Sinai after speaking with God and his faces is glowing, it’s flipping glowing. The Israelites were afraid to come near him. This is our God, holy, righteous, just, loving, preeminent! Wisdom, might and riches may seem like the correct places for our sinful hearts to place their trust, but they are nothing and only lead to unhappiness and death.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:3-5
What is man? Why should He care for us?
Even though we are sinful and small in the vastness of creation and God’s preeminance and majesty, He has exalted us, fearfully and wonderfully made us in His image. How comforting it is to know that meaning, dignity, wholeness, identity and life is found in Him. He cares for you, He is mindful of you, has crowned you with glory and honor.
As Tullian Tchividjian passionately proclaims, “The law maker (God) became the law keeper and died for you and me the law breakers, in the gospel person and work of Jesus Christ.” Therefore if we are to boast in anything whatsoever, may it be in our glorious saviour God. With God we have dignity and eternal life, without Him we are nothing and await eternal death.