“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.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
God’s great desire is that we know and understand him. The images God uses to describe our relationship with him are intimate, like that of husband and wife. Jeremiah describes God’s people firstly as a bride (Jeremiah 2:2), but then as a prostitute (2:20). He berates God’s people because they’ve forsaken God and run after foreign gods (2:25), worshipping wooden idols. He illustrates their faithlessness by using the term “adultery” (3:6).
God freely employs the intimate symbols of love, sex, and marriage to demonstrate how he feels about his people. He wants us to know him in a close and personal way.
We learn more about someone when we go through tough times together than we do when all is going well. Going through difficult times in our work situations, brought my husband and me closer together. It refined our priorities and we found ourselves in agreement on the important issues.
For us to know God and the depths of his compassion, mercy and grace God allowed evil to enter his perfect world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience so we would see how he would deal with the crisis. There was no other way that we could appreciate God’s amazing love and grace except through the extreme measure of knowing the devastation of sin and evil, and the cost to God of reconciliation through the cross.
At the cross, we learn how valuable we are to him. How much he loves us and how much grace he has made available to us.