Everyone boasts in something. I’m not necessarily talking about the obvious, verbal asserting of self that often happens at dinner parties. There is a more subtle form of boasting that reveals our hearts idols. From a Biblical perspective, what we boast in is what we’re trusting in. It’s that thing in which we place our worth, our confidence, our identity.
Another way to identify this is by filling in the blank: “As long as I have _______________, I can face each day with confidence.” What is that for you? A job, a significant other, a healthy stash in the bank, our health, our appearance, the approval of others, success? What do we boast in?
While reading in Jeremiah 9 the other day, I was struck by God’s clear directive to us—and how with laser like precision He diagnoses our hearts:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, or the strong man boast of his strength, or the rich man boast of his riches. But let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23-24
We are not to boast in our intelligence, our physical attributes, our financial resources or possessions. Instead, we are to boast in the fact that we “understand and know the Lord”. “To know” is a word that elsewhere in the Old Testament refers to sexual intimacy. “ Interesting. What most delights the Lord are those who boast in their intimate relationship with Him.
What would that look like? What would it look like to be a person who boasts in knowing God? God actually gives us some idea of this at the end of this verse. He lists some specific attributes of Himself in which He wants us to boast/trust. Let’s explore the first of these in this blog. (We can examine the rest in my next post).
The first is that we might know Him as LORD. Whenever you see the word LORD in all caps in your Old Testament, it refers to a specific name of God. Yahweh. Yahweh is the personal name God used when revealing Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15. So holy is this name that Jews refused to even pronounce it. What it literally means is “I am.” He is…period. He is all sufficient, all powerful, complete in every way. He is all that we need.
How amazing to be in relationship with a God like that. Now that would be something to boast in. A God who is all that we need—no matter what our circumstances, our bank account, our appearance, our approval from others—no matter what, He is. Do you know Him?