Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Our Only Boast

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24

We live in a culture of self-promotion which encourages us to trust in ourselves instead of our Creator. Aware of our need to battle against self-reliance, God speaks to us through His word, encouraging us to boast—to find our confidence—in Him alone.

In an attempt to find wisdom apart from God, some pursue instead education and knowledge. Some are prone to rely primarily on physical strength or beauty, ignoring the reality that our bodies will decay and eventually fail us. Still others are enticed to look to money and riches rather than God as their ultimate provider.

It’s a delusion, though, says Jeremiah, to think even for a nanosecond that we can boast in an agile mind, a healthy body, or a fat portfolio. Where, then, are we to place our confidence? The prophet’s answer is clear: we are to place our trust in God Himself.

We can trust God because He is a God of justice. He rules in equity, He deals in truth, and He is not arbitrary in what He does. We can have full assurance that His actions are always in keeping with His character.

We can trust God because He is characterized by His steadfast covenant love for His people—a love made known to us in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And because of the depth of the Father’s love for us, we are “called children of God” (1 John 3:1)! Therefore, we are to take refuge in His righteousness, not our own. Our confidence rests in Jesus, who fulfilled the Father’s will so that we may know Him and love Him as our Creator and Sustainer, as our Savior and King.

A biblical worldview does not denigrate people’s aspirations in the pursuit of wisdom, the exercise of physical prowess, or the ability to earn. But it does stand against the idea that our identity, satisfaction, or salvation can successfully be based on any of these things. There is still a glory that outshines these lesser lights. Our lives should proclaim purposefully, graciously, and straightforwardly that God created us to give Him glory by our walking humbly before Him and enjoying Him into eternity. Where is your confidence for today, for tomorrow, and forever? What do you look to to get you through difficult days? Let it be the loving, just, righteous Lord of all, and know that as you trust Him, He delights in you.

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Galatians 6:12-16

Topics: Character of God Humility Materialism

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

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