Jer 9:23-24 “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 lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
This is the instruction of the LORD (self-existent One). Here is counsel from Him who has no beginning or end. The truth of this is not something we know because it is written in a book, but because it has pleased Him to write it in our hearts and reveal it to us by the Holy Spirit. Like Israel and Judah of old, many seem to have forgotten the truth of His word.
Being blessed with skill and intelligence (wisdom) is a wonderful gift. It is a gift and not a matter for us to boast (glory) in. Like every gift, it is not something we earned or merited on our own. When a gift is given, the merit is in the eye of the giver, not in the self-conception of the receiver. A man of valor should not boast in his power; to glory in such a manner is foolish (see Strong’s definition of the word translated “glory”). The noble man should not boast, or have confidence, in his wealth. These attitudes are all aspects of our carnal nature and do not honor God.
The word of the Lord that came through Jeremiah obviously found a lodging place in Paul’s heart (1Co 1:31, 2Co 10:17). The truth in Jeremiah’s day was still the truth in Paul’s day. That which was true in Paul’s day is still true today. If we are going to boast, then let our boasting be acknowledging the work of God in our lives. What could be more miraculous than to understand and know the God of creation?
We cannot understand Him in our own wisdom, strength, or riches. It is the hand of God working directly in our lives through the Holy Spirit that brings us to this understanding and knowledge that is otherwise too great for us. Is there any more desirable “skill” than to be granted the intelligence (see Strong’s definition of “understandeth”) to recognize (knoweth) this holy, self-existent One?
Lovingkindness comes from and is performed by (exercised) the LORD. It does not originate in man’s carnality, nor does man have any desire in himself to give selflessly. Divine justice comes only from God, and He alone has the power and the right to dispense it out. Righteousness originates in God, is embodied in Jesus Christ, revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, and imputed unto us. The LORD exercises these things in the earth; He moves in us that these things might be made manifest (Php 2:12-13). He is pleased with the exercise of these things in the earth.
May we trust in Him to exercise that which is truly glorious and reject the idea that any good thing comes from the arm of flesh!