Scripture: Jeremiah 9:15-26
“But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 9:24, NLT).
God reveals to Jeremiah a horrible picture of the coming death, destruction, and desolation of the ancient residents of Jerusalem (v.15-22). God allows this punishment by the Babylonian invaders because they honored God’s covenant only in their bodies (circumcision), but not in their hearts (v.25,26). Their riches, power, and wisdom will be of no help to them (v.23). The only ones left standing will be those who who know God and understand his delight in unfailing love, justice, and righteousness (v.24).
To know God involves understanding who he is and in what he delights. In these verses, God identifies himself as LORD, covenant-making Yahweh, “I am.” God delights in those who enter into covenant with him and bring forth his attributes. When I am in covenant, I am motivated by unfailing love, the correct impulse. I also view others with justice, correct judgment, according all people compassion and honor for Christ died for us all. My life also displays righteousness, correct actions, prompted by God’s Spirit in me. Outward signs of the covenant (baptism, communion, Scripture reading, gathering with believers) have their place in my life. Yet only my heart changed and shaped by God’s covenant of love through Jesus will endure.
Father, thank you for your unfailing love. Forgive my stubborn ways of relying on my own wisdom, strength, and resources. Draw me deeper into covenant with your Son. Transform my heart. May it beat at the impulse of your love, honoring others as those for whom your Son has died. Let my actions be prompted by your Spirit and bring honor to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.