Reading: Jeremiah 8:4 – 9:26
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)
More than anything God wants us to know him and understand him. To know him means also to know what pleases him. Here God spells out three things that please him: kindness, justice and righteousness, “… for in these I delight.” The people of Jeremiah's day would have known this, but what they knew differed from what they valued, as revealed by their actions.
What determines a person's values? In this passage, God implies that if we can but know him and understand him, our values will begin to line up with his.
Values could be defined as those things that I hold as valuable, things that delight me and in which I take great pleasure. The more pleasure something brings me, or that I believe will bring me in time, the more time and energy I will likely invest in it, and the more I'll be prepared to spend or sacrifice to obtain and safeguard that thing.
I suspect that some of the things I believe to be important and good have yet to become true values for me. I'd like them to be, but my actions betray me. The passions that motivate and delight my God have yet to fully grip my own heart. But that, more than anything, is what I want – to delight consistently in the Lord, and to live a life impassioned by those values that delight and impassion him.
Lord God, the only way for me to really understand you and know you deeply is for you to open your heart to me. Thank you that you are changing me from the inside out. Lord, those things you hold dear, I want to hold dear. Once again, I open my heart to you, and invite you to have free reign in me, that I might live a life passionately devoted to you.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4