In my last post, we looked at Jeremiah 9:23 where God exposes the things that we trust in (or boast in–same thing). Our wisdom, our strength, or our riches. He then challenges us to boast in one thing: That we understand and know Him.
According to God, knowing Him is THE most important thing. But what exactly does that mean? A lot of people today assume that they know God, but do they really? Technically speaking, we only know of God what He chooses to reveal about Himself. In verse 24 of this passage, there are three specific things God reveals about Himself, three essential things to know about God.
1. His Kindness–We are urged to boast in the fact that God exercises kindness. The Hebrew word used here is the word “Hesed”, which is an incredibly significant word in the Old Testament. Hesed refers to God’s covenant love. It is a loyal love, a love that continues and endures, even when we fall short.
In Christ, God’s ‘hesed’ was fully realized. Jesus died on the cross to secure our relationship with God, a relationship that is absolutely permanent and unending. God wants us to know this love.
2. His Justice–Often we focus only on the love of God, but there is more to Him than that. In vs 24 He specifically reveals His justice. “That I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice…” God is absolutely just, which means He has every right to judge sin and rebellion.
For many of us, this aspect of God is a bit more difficult to swallow. Some choose to ignore this attribute all together. But when we do so, we end up with a God is not worthy of our worship. What would we think a judge who, because of his love, allows criminals to go free? There would be outrage and with good reason. Justice and love go hand in hand. It is not loving to let wrongs go unpunished. A loving God without justice would be a moral monster, certainly not worthy of worship.
3. His Righteousness–vs 24 “That I am the Lord who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” God delights in righteousness. This word speaks of moral perfection, of holiness.
In human relationships, we might refer to this attribute as “integrity”. A person with integrity keeps their word. They do the right thing, even when it is not easy. They are faithful. They speak truth. They can be depended upon. Aren’t you glad God is righteous?
Let’s not settle for a “knowledge” of God that fails to embrace the fullness of who He is and what He values: Loyal love, justice and righteousness. How well do you know Him?