Jeremiah 9:23-24 - 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."
Have you ever been impressed at how smart some people can be? Me, too.
• I have been at lectures where I hadn't understood a single thing the speaker was saying, and yes, he was talking English.
• I have been with families when the doctor used so many 25-cent medical words to describe the patient's condition that, when he was done, nobody knew if their loved one was really sick, getting better, or had been completely cured.
• I have even played trivia against folks who got every single answer right in every category on the board. That was really depressing.
On the other hand, people are not always incredibly smart, are they?
Last month the Iowa Department of Transportation put out an important clarification for motorists who were confused by the signs which warned of deer crossings. One of those drivers spoke for many when they wrote to the IDOT and suggested, "Why don't you put these signs where it is safer for deer to cross?"
The IDOT wrote back, and I quote them lest you think I make this up: "Deer can't read signs. Drivers can. This sign isn't intended to tell deer where to cross; it's for drivers to be alert that deer have been in this area in the past."
Now the point of all this is simple.
The world is filled with all kinds of people whom the Lord has blessed with an unbelievable spectrum of gifts. All of those gifts can be used wisely or foolishly; all of them can move us to appreciation for, or disdain of, our Maker.
In our text above, the Lord Himself gives us a clue on how we should live and use the blessings He has bestowed. First, He suggests that we don't brag to the world on how good we are, how smart we are, how strong we are.
That's because everything we are and have and hope to be flows from His benevolent hand.
No, if we are going to point with pride to anything or anyone, let our praises rest on the Triune God. Not only has He made and preserved us, He has also saved us. Jesus coming, His life, His death, and resurrection are gifts which bring about forgiveness and eternal life.
Now, for those gifts we give thanks to God. It is after all, the wise thing to do.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me a spirit of humility which acknowledges all You have done for me. Let me thank You for great gifts and small and especially for my Savior in whose Name this prayer is offered. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Ben Hooper for the UPI on October 27, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries