This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
People like being wise, strong, and rich. It’s a common, lofty pursuit when life is all about me apart from God. But, for those that seek and know the Lord, wisdom, strength, and riches need to take a back burner. Not because being wise, strong, and rich is evil, but because the Lord is surprisingly down to earth.
In the context of today’s Scripture, the Lord’s people had a hard time focusing on Him as the shadow of the Kingdom of Babylon grew darker over them. No easy task, the prophet Jeremiah’s commission was to present them with what’s true despite their circumstances.
Instead of focusing on typical traits, God’s people were called to lean into, draw upon, and champion the Lord’s compassion in action. Jeremiah 9:23-24 draws a stark contrast between King Nebuchadnezzar’s distance and selfishness as a dictator and the Lord’s close, kind, just, and righteous involvement in the world.
It’s very hard to trust that God’s goodness remains when good gets buried in rubble. But that’s what Scripture and history reveal. The Lord’s love is pervasive even though people experience a sin-tarnished earth daily. While people default to falling back on wisdom, strength, and riches, it’s better to pursue God and live out godliness for a greater good.
Rather than remain lofty, God chooses to engage in everyday life—yours and mine. Just like in Jeremiah’s day, we can get to know the Lord and His ways personally, intimately, and eternally, because He’s surprisingly down to earth.
Here are a few questions to help you know, celebrate, and follow God more today:
- When have you been surprised by the Lord’s compassion in action toward you or someone else?
- Where is the Lord’s kindness, justice, and righteousness needed more in your life or our world right now?
- How can you remember and show people that the Lord is surprisingly down to earth when hard things happen?
Use the questions above to kick off a conversation about God’s character with a friend or small group. Explore the depth and breadth of His kindness together as you get to know Him and live out His ways more.