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Jeremiah 9:23-24 - Homiletics

False boasting and true confidence.


1. We are inclined to overvalue our own possessions . The wise man thinks wisdom the one source of security, the strong man strength, the rich man riches. That bulks most largely which lies most near to us.

2. The very good that is in a thing may deceive us by tempting us to overvalue it. Wisdom, strength, and riches are all good in their way. Trust in them is very different from trust in fraud and violence. Not regarding them as enemies, we are in danger of confiding in them as saviors instead of simply employing them as servants.

3. The number of earthly resources leads us to assume that security must be found in some of them at least; for when one fails we can fall back on another. But if the best do not protect in the extremity of danger, will inferior aids suffice? Wisdom is greater than strength, and strength than riches. If wisdom fails, what can the rest do for us?

4. The variety of advantages contained in earthly resources deceives us as to their value. Wisdom promises to outwit the enemy or devise some means of evading ruin. Yet the wisdom of the wisest Jews was defeated by those who came from the land of "the wise;" and how can it avail against the supreme wisdom? Strength as physical prowess and national power may be imposing and yet not almighty. Samson was weak under a woman's wiles. Goliath fell before the sling of the stripling David. Riches may buy much. They could not prevent the Chaldean invasion. They cannot buy off sickness, disappointment, death, the punishment of sin. Nebuchadnezzar found the possession of the world no security against the most humiliating affliction ( Daniel 4:28-33 ). The rich fool was mocked by his own prudence ( Luke 12:16-21 ).


1. This is to be sought in the knowledge of God . Wisdom, the best of earthly resources, is not sufficient for protection, but it is the type of a higher wisdom, wherein is the secret of safety. This is a wisdom which concerns itself, not with petty devices, subtle schemes, cunning, and cleverness, but with the highest knowledge, bearing fruit in "the fear of God" ( Psalms 111:10 ). We must know God to trust him.

2. The knowledge of God will reveal to us the special grounds for confidence in him, viz.

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