Glory In This • Jeremiah 9:23-24
I. INTRODUCTION • Read vs.
1 Corinthians 1:26–31
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
1. What we celebrate, tells a lot about us.
2. We celebrate birthdays – because we value life.
3. We celebrate anniversaries, because we value marriage.
4. We celebrate a graduation because we honor the work the graduate did to get the diploma / degree.
5. We celebrate accomplishments, like promotions & awards because they’re affirmations of our worth.
6. But we also celebrate & get excited over things we have no real connection to – like professional sports.
7. The SF Giants just won the World Series. // Their fans celebrated loudly! Why?
a. Did they contribute to the win? Not really. They bought tickets to the games & merchandise to wear, & the proceeds went to pay the players; but the fans have no real link to what happens on the field.
b. So WHY do 50,000 people in the stands & millions watching on TV go wild when a 3” in diameter ball of string wrapped in a white cowhide cover & 216 red stiches à
1) Leap to their feet and duplicate a Native American rain dance –
2) While another few million slump in their seats & moan like they’re in dire pain?
8. People celebrate when their team wins because it affirms their cleverness in picking the winner.
a. They’re smart; they knew who was going to win.
b. And if they were right about THAT, chances are they’re smart enough to be right in other things too.
9. So – How do we explain Cub & Clippers fans? Their teams NEVER win the big prize.
a. Every year they hope THIS is the year their team turn things around & brings home the trophy.
b. And when they do, their support of their team will be vindicated! They’ll be proven to have been right all along.
10. Yep. What we celebrate & glory in tells a lot about us.
11. And it’s something God’s got some important counsel for us to consider.
A. V. 23
23 Thus says the Lord:
1. What He’s about to say comes because of what the people of Judah wrongly assumed.
2. They thought their covenant with God made them better than everyone else, even though they weren’t holding up to their end of it.
a. They had promised to worship God only.
b. But they were worshipping idols; a whole pack of them.
3. They expected God to keep His end of the covenant & bless them even though, like a wife with a dozen boyfriends, they were being completely unfaithful to Him.
4. God had shown them such amazing mercy & grace up to this point, they assumed He always would.
5. Instead of being thankful, they took on an attitude of arrogant entitlement.
6. So God says –
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom. Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
7. It’s not smart to glory in these things because they don’t last.
8. One generation’s wisdom is the next’s foolishness.
1) This is something every jr high history student learns.
2) We’re surprised when we hear previous generations believed such silly things.
3) Like the Earth is called on the shoulders of a giant, sitting on an elephant, carried by a tortoise.
4) The stars are light shining thru holes in a big shell at the edge of space.
5) That everything is made up of just 4 elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water. That was the accepted model of physics for a couple thousand years.
6) Don’t think such silliness is just limited to a distant, pre-scientific past. It’s more recent too.
7) In the early 1900’s people believed radioactivity was good for you.
a) Radium pendants & uranium blankets were sold for the treatment of arthritis.
b) Radioactive cosmetics were thought to reverse the signs of age.
c) A well-known industrialist named Eben Byers drank 3 bottles of a radioactive water a day.
d) In 1932 when he died, the Wall Street Journal headline read “The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Came Off.”
8) In 1898, Bayer Laboratories, makers of Bayer Aspirin, invented Heroin cough syrup. It was quite popular. Because people actually enjoyed getting a cold.
9) One of the most common medical treatments for centuries was bloodletting. It was used to treat pneumonia, fever, back pain, arthritis, headaches, depression, and a host of other ailments.
10) As we now know, mercury is a highly toxic substance. But it was used in the 16th Century as a medical treatment.
11) When tobacco first arrived in Europe, people called it the holy herb & God’s remedy because they thought it was a cure-all for all kinds of problems. Turns out, all it was a cure for was relieving addiction to itself. India didn’t ban tobacco toothpaste until 1992.
12) Today when children are rambunctious & have a hard time concentrating they’re diagnosed as being ADHD & given drugs like Ritalin. Well, not too long ago, in the 1940’s & 50’s medicine practiced a less chemical & more mechanical fix for people who wouldn’t settle down & fit in. Called a lobotomy, an ice-pick like tools was inserted above the eyeball, thru the eye socket, into the brain, then moved around to scramble the tissue. The result – a docile patient. About 40,000 people had this done to them in the US.
13) You’ll love this one. Today if you want to lose weight there’s a whole bunch of diets, pills & medical procedures you can try. In the 1920’s, you could take a tapeworm pill. Fortunately, that remedy never became popular.
14) Last, while Isaac Newton was a brilliant scientist who contributed much to modern science, he never lost his fascination with the pseudo-science of alchemy. Discovering the laws of motion & gravity & inventing calculus were just side-trips on his journey to what he really cared about, and that was creating the Philosopher’s Stone. This was a substance that would then turn base metals like lead into gold & make human beings immortal.
9. You get the point: It’s unwise to glory in your wisdom; to brag on how smart you are – because the realm of knowledge keeps growing & things that seem so certain today are a joke tomorrow.
a. Also, as we age, our brains peak at about 20, then begin to deteriorate.
b. Now, we can keep learning and adding more information.
c. We can gain more practical wisdom, but the sheer physiological capacity of our brains begins to slide downhill after 20. Brain cells die faster than they’re replaced.
d. So listen; there’s never a reason to celebrate how smart you are.
e. BEFORE you turn 20, you’re a punk & after 20 you’re brain damaged. It’s wisest to just shut up.
Let not the mighty man glory in his might.
10. Same story. If we eat right & exercise, we’re at our physiological peak for about 14 month around the age of 28-29. Then, adios! We’re on the long slow slide to decrepitude.
a. So if you’re 28 & you want to strut around like you’re something special go for it.
b. But then, at least be consistent: When you turn 30, lament & howl.
c. Another problem w/boasting in your strength is that it’s inevitable: Someday, somewhere, you’re going to encounter someone bigger & stronger and you’re going to look weak in comparison, because comparison is exactly what you’ve been encouraging by your boasting.
nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
11. Because like Earthly wisdom & strength, riches don’t last.
a. Money does talk. Mostly, it says, “Goodbye.”
b. As the last 4 years have made so clear – riches are transient.
c. Millions who thought their job was secure are out of work today. Millions more are under-employed & have downsized & scaled back their standard of living.
12. As the people of God, we ought not glory in or celebrate these things that are so important to the world.
a. It’s understandable why they ARE important to the lost. What else do they have to live for?
b. This life is all there is for them, so they have nothing beyond it to hope in or celebrate.
c. But for the Christian, this world is not our home. Our home is heaven & our treasure is there.
d. Our wisdom isn’t the transient fairy tales the world clings to for a season just to discard for the next fiction. è Our wisdom comes from the unchanging Word of God.
e. Our strength isn’t located in our biceps or thighs; è It’s in the power of the Spirit.
f. And our wealth isn’t located in the Bank of America; è It’s in the treasury of Heaven.
B. V. 24
24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
1. God doesn’t say we aren’t to celebrate & glory – PERIOD. He WANTS us to celebrate the right thing, the one thing that won’t & can’t be taken from us – HIM!
2. What God wants us to know about Him is that He delights, à
a. NOT in our nation’s educational system; our free public school system & extensive universities & colleges that people from all over the world send their youth to.
b. God doesn’t delight in our global political influence, our armies bristling w/the latest technology.
c. He’s not thrilled by our huge Gross National Product & Consumer Index.
3. He delights in people who know Him, and so they value what He values & do what He does.
a. So they are kindness, just, & righteous.
b. They value people more than things.
1. I want to end right there. Let’s camp on that thought – It’s about people!
2. When this phase of history as we know it is done, Peter tells us the entire universe will dissolve.
3. Physical creation will simply disappear – all that will be left is the higher & more substantial realm of the Spirit.
4. Think of this: The only thing that transfers over from the temporal physical creation into the eternal spiritual realm is people.
5. CS Lewis said, ~ You’ve never met a mere mortal. / Everyone will live forever, the only question is where.
6. What delights the heart of God is when we value what He values. He values people.
7. Let’s make that our prayer. God, open my eye, ears, & heart to see, hear and love people as You do.
a. You DO love them – love them THRU me.
8. See à People!
a. Not tools to manipulate to your own ends.
b. Not obstacles to what you want.
c. Not idiots & fools to put up with at work, the store, on the road.
d. Not objects to gratify lust.
9. But broken image-bearers of God Jesus died for & rose to save.
10. How many times have you been to that fast-food or coffee place & still don’t know the name of the cashier that takes your order.
a. Your dry-cleaner / mechanic / Circle K.
b. Everyone else treats them as a mere thing: What they want is a little respect.
c. Treat them w/the dignity due a creature created a little lower than the angles but destined one day to sit with Christ upon His throne.
d. For THAT is the dignity God bestows on those who believe in Him.
11. God – Open our eyes to see People, as You see them. For we want You to delight is us.