Summary: Many people boast about their wisdom, might, or riches, but Jeremiah shares in this message the only true reason to glory. If you want to glory in anything, glory in God and proclaim His power throughout the world.
Intro: Jeremiah was a young priest denouncing the practice of worshiping images.
Jeremiah gave reason to worship the true God, His creative power and providential care.
Although Jeremiah's message was strong and his faith deep in God, the people would reject his message since they had rejected God and rather chose to glory in things that are limited and weak in the face of God's power.
In this message, let us learn that the only thing that has any merit and deserves our recognition is God's presence in our life, not the power of man.
In what should be glory?
1. We Cannot Glory in the Wisdom of Man. (23).
A. If men could boast in their great wisdom, then why did Solomon pray to God for it? In I Chronicles 1:10, Solomon asked God for both wisdom and knowledge. "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?" Even King Solomon, in all his glory, knew his wisdom and understanding were limited. Solomon knew he would fail in ruling the people and he needed wisdom from God to rule them properly.
B. Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
In this passage Solomon addresses the limitations of man's understanding, his wrong conclusions, his ignorance, and even his false premises. Again, success is not based upon strength, wisdom or riches. It is based upon time, which are portions of one's life, that if in line with God's will, prove to give success and joy. It is only by God's will that man can accomplish anything, at any time.
C. When it comes to wisdom, the wisdom of man when challenged proves to be faulty and clouded. Sadly, even the most learned of men, have been known to deny the existence of and the reality of God. Those of you who have been trained in school or even in college, do you not sometimes find it hard to come up with the answers to your problems? We all need God's help, just like Solomon. Jeremiah was right you cannot glory in what you know. God is omniscient or all-knowing and He knows you and your limitations, but He still loves you. It is true, it is not what you know, but who you know that counts.
2. We Cannot Glory In The Might of Man (23).
A. Many men have been proclaimed as having great strength. Athletics is a forum for the proclaiming of power, might, skill and tremendous strength under challenge. Sadly, the same people who show great strength have recently proven to be weak. Many have relied on substance abuse for strength.
B. There was once a mighty man named Samson, in Judges 13-16, we read about Samson who became the 12th judge of Israel, and a thorn in the side of the Philistines. Samson's claim to fame was his great strength, strength that was not known to any man before. Killing a lion with your bear hands, slaying a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey. As we read, though, we find the secret of his strength, it was not his alone, it was given to him by God because of his faith. In Judges 13:7, we find that Samson was a Nazarite, which meant that he had made a vow to God, never to cut his hair. This act showed humility before God, a faith in God, and a vow which carried with it both life and death. Samson though was tested by lust for Delilah, who cut his hair and Samson lost his strength. He was taken captive, tortured, ridiculed, and then taken to the temple of the Philistines to be made fun of. Praying to God for strength, he was able to pull the pillars together and the temple collapsed killing many Philistines on that day. Samson, though, also lost his life. Although he was strong, his might failed him at the end.
C. Are you trusting in your might or strength? Have you found yourself too weak to accomplish a task? If so, then you should understand why you cannot glory in your might. We are not as strong as we think we are, but God is omnipotent or all-powerful. You can count on Him.
3. We Cannot Glory in the Riches of Man (23).
A. With the economy in the shape that it is, it should be easy to understand this division of my message. Many of us have found our money running short and our debt increasing. Riches do not merit being gloried in and spending your life amassing wealth is a very dull life.