Sunday morning came to our church in Southwest Louisiana, and the crowd was exuberant. Purple and gold clothing was everywhere. People were cheerful and talking in the hallways. A festive air just covered the whole place. LSU had won their football game in Baton Rouge the night before! And some of them had actually been there — and everyone was happy. A few weeks later, it’s Sunday morning again. But this time, a darkness just draped over the church like a shroud. People dragged in, sat slumped in their seats, and listened to the sermon with glazed eyes. For late that Saturday night, LSU had lost to “Nick Satan” and Alabama. Again.
It’s football season, and the lives of many people hang very much upon the success of their football teams. They wear their team’s colors on game day; they get excited when they win, and bask in the glories for a day or two — and get really depressed when they lose. In a very real sense, it can be said that they “glory” in their team. (Some of us here in North Carolina may identify more with basketball than football, but you get the idea!)
But that sense of “glorying” in something is very much at the heart of Jeremiah 9 when it 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 boasts, boast of this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD …”.
The word “boast” in this verse is the Hebrew word “halal,” we get our word “Hallelujah” from it. It means “to praise, to glory, to boast” in something — like people do their favorite sports team. What you praise or glory in says a lot about what’s really important in your life. And God has a word for us here in these verses about what we SHOULD and should NOT boast or glory in: Continue reading