Jeremiah 9:1-26; Colossians 3:12-17; Psalms 78:56-59; Proverbs 19:8-9
OT: “This is what the Lord says: The wise person should not boast in his wisdom; the strong should not boast in his strength; the wealthy should not boast in his wealth. But the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me — that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the Lord’s declaration.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 CSB)
When God originally called Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) and set him apart to be the father of God’s chosen people, God promised to bless him and the nation that would come from him – but the blessing was not to be an end to itself, nor was the blessing to be exclusive. God’s intention was that through blessing His people, all the peoples of the world would be blessed – that His people would not only share their blessings with others, but more importantly, that they would share the source of their blessing with others… so that the other peoples of the world would come to God and receive the same blessing.
Fast forward to Jeremiah’s day. The people of Judah and Jerusalem had completely lost sight of the reason they were blessed in the first place. They had completely lost touch with the source of their blessed status and were frolicking in the blessing that resulted from the faithfulness of their forefathers. Their confidence was in their national identity and their prosperity instead of in the God who had given them their identity and prosperity for a divine purpose. Therefore God sent this message to the people of Judah and Jerusalem through His prophet Jeremiah: “Wisdom, strength, and wealth are nothing to boast in or place your confidence on, for wisdom, strength, and wealth are passing and can be taken away in a moment. What you should be boasting in… what you should be placing your confidence on is that you understand, experientially know and are familiar with Me. And in understanding Me and knowing Me, you should represent Me (My love and mercy, My justice and righteousness) in the world.
NT: “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17 CSB)
Abraham was not just the father of the Jewish people, he was more significantly the father of faith. He said “Amen” to God’s word by faith and because of that, Abraham was declared righteous. The true chosen people of God are those who become His by faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Through faith in Christ, we are saved from our sins, declared righteous, given a new heavenly nature, filled with God’s Holy Spirit, given the ability to overcome the word, the flesh and the devil, and graced with everything we need to live a holy and righteous life on earth so that we may live in holiness forever with God. As wonderful as that is, that is not an end to itself. As God’s chosen people, we have been blessed to be a blessing to all the peoples of the world and to represent the Lord Jesus Christ (His character, His power, and His Lordship) throughout the earth. Paul wrote quite a list of the things that we should “put on” as people of God – but all of that can be summarized by saying, “Put on Christ, and do and say everything in the name of (as representatives of and ambassadors for) the Lord. Why? So that any and all may come to understand and know and come to faith in Jesus Christ… that they may become people of God and share in all the rich blessings that we have received.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for all the blessings that I have in You. Help me to remember that You haven’t just blessed me for blessings sake – and that I shouldn’t place my confidence in my blessings. My blessings come because I know You, and my blessings keep coming as I walk in Your commission to share my blessing with the rest of the world. I commit to do and say everything in Your name by the grace that You give me through faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.