Jeremiah 9-12

 “and ye shall be like the gods…” Genesis 3:5b KJ

In our study today, we read that Jeremiah is depressed and wants to get away from the people he was to prophesy to. They were not listening. In Jeremiah 6:10, God says the people cannot hear because their ears are closed. The word for closed is uncircumcised. What God is saying here is that the things of the world have their full attention. Jeremiah is just a noisy irritant. The people have built a wall of pride and that wall is like the walls of Jericho. The people of Jericho were proud of their wall and thought it would protect them. It also confined them to their destruction.

In Jeremiah 9:23&24, God says, “...Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.” NASB

There is a healthy pride and an unhealthy pride. I have grown produce on our little farm for years. We have a reputation of growing great sweet corn and melons among other things. I am proud of that and try to do my best at farming, but I have learned this. My farm practices must conform to God’s principles if I am to be successful. I have no control over the weather, but I am aware there is a time for planting and a time for harvesting. God gave us the times and seasons. I cannot make the seed sprout and grow but I must plant the seed. God makes it grow. I can manage somewhat but God is the one who is in control and has given us the ability to plant and grow food.  I must submit to the principles He has placed in the world if I am to be successful.  People may praise me for the sweetness of the melon, but in reality, the glory belongs to God.

If I take credit for the sweetness of the melon I will soon be boasting about my wisdom regarding how I grow sweet melons. I will boast about how my growing practices are better than the other guy's and that is because I have some secret things I do that no one else knows about. With this type of pride, I get the glory, in fact, I am glorifying myself. When I do this, I am attempting to be like the gods. Genesis 3:5

Unhealthy pride usually has to be broken. That was the case with Jericho’s walls. Years later, Jericho was rebuilt. In 2 Kings we read that the school of the prophets wanted to locate there, but the water was bitter. Elisha threw salt in the water and the water became good to drink. Scripturally, salt represents wisdom. Wisdom recognizes God and gives Him the Glory.  That is what Jeremiah 9:23-24 is about.

Unhealthy pride doesn’t have to go through the breaking process if it is recognized and humbled. We need to recognize that no matter who we are, or what we may have accomplished, God put us in the right time and place for that to happen and gave us the ability to achieve that level of accomplishment.

If we are to have healthy pride, we must be humble before God and not exalt ourselves above God. The source of the temptation in Genesis3:5 is from Satan who tried to exalt himself above God. We can read about that in Isaiah 14: 12-21. It all boils down to, who are we going to listen to? The people would not listen to God speaking through His prophet Jeremiah. They will have to be broken. The ones who listen and humble themselves, taking their rightful place before God, will not need to be broken.

Here are some verses from my concordance on being humble before God. Of course the context surrounding these verses is important as well.

2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 25:9; Proverbs 3:34, 11:2, 15:33, 25:6&7; Isaiah 66:1&2; Matthew 11:28-30, 18:4, 23:12; Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:1-11; James 4:7-10; 1 Peter 5:5-9.


May God bless you as you study His Word!

Pastor Dave