Summary: Boasting is usually something frowned on but we are given instructions in the proper motivation and subject of our boasting in Jermiah. We are to boast that we know and understand Yahweh God.

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Let the boaster boast!

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Boasting is essentially praising oneself. The Hebrew llh means to praise and in this section it is the reflexive hitpa’el – in other words, praising oneself.

I. The pattern of the Hebrew text is “Let not X boast about his Y”

A. The X and Y might be character

1. Wise vs. wisdom in the text

2. What others can you name?

a. Witty vs. wit

b. Intelligent vs. intellect

c. Charming vs. charm

B. The X and Y may be an attribute

1. Strong man vs. strength

2. What others can you name?

a. Handsome/beautiful vs. looks

b. Athletic vs. skill

c. Musical vs. playing or singing

C. The X and Y may be possessions

1. Rich man vs. wealth

2. What others can you name?

a. Computer geek vs. network and peripherals

b. Fashion follower vs. clothes, jewelry and accessories

D. Although we may be gifted with character, attributes, or possessions they are nothing to brag about.

II. Character, attributes, and possessions are all temporary.

A. The wise lapse into folly

B. The strong become disabled

C. Possessions come and go

D. 1 Cor 1:28-9 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

III. Let the Boaster boast!

A. The text uses the same kind of reflexive construction (hitpa’el)

1. “Him who boasts” is one word in the Hebrew meaning literally the one who praises himself

2. The verb is imperfect implying a routine activity

B. Boasting in itself is not wrong

1. It is the motivation for boasting that makes it wrong

2. It is the object of the boasting that makes it wrong

C. Proper boasting is knowing and understanding Yahweh God.

1. Try this exercise: say the Hebrew word ntn pronounced natan – this is the word from which our common name Nathan is derived. Practice saying it out loud. Now you know the word but do you understand it? No! Simply knowing is not enough but you must also understand.

2. Now the word ntn means to give put or set

D. New Testament boasting

1. 1 Cor 1:31 1 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

2. 2 Cor 1:12 2 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace

3. 2 Cor 11:30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

4. Gal 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

5. 2 The 1:4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

IV. From our focus text we are to boast that we know and understand certain things about God.

A. He exercises kindness – love of Christ

B. He exercises justice – sending sinners to Hell

C. He exercises righteousness – letting Christ die so we don’t have to go to Hell

V. How can we know and understand God?

A. Spend time with him

B. Read his self-revelatory story – the Bible

C. Join him in ministry

D. Worship him individually and corporately

E. Fellowship – joined by his Holy Spirit

F. Boast about him: Share the good news with others – evangelism

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