Man, do we love to brag! We are in the midst of football season as I write this. Week after week we look at the scores and revel in our favorite teams. We speak of wins to the point of nausea and complain of losses to the point of disgust. We are by nature- braggarts. And it doesn't have to be football or any other sport. It can even be in religion. We compare doctrines and church polity and statistics to the point of near extinction. But God has a better word for us.
The Bible doesn't use the word “brag” but the concept of boasting, being proud, and having pride are definitely there. As a matter of fact the word “pride” appears 49 times in our Bibles and is never used in a good sense. Likewise the word “proud” appears 48 times and not once in a good sense. For that reason I have developed a habit of never, I should probably say rarely, using the words. When I have heard other Christians use the word they often qualify it with the phrase, “I mean in a good sense.” As a result of my studies I have trained myself to use words like, “I am grateful for... or I rejoice in... or I am thankful for...” Please don't think I am being overly critical with those who use the word in a good sense. Actually, the original Hebrew word is sometimes translated with good words like “excellent,” “glorious,” “triumphant,” and even “grow up.” See Exodus 15:1 and 15 where the word appears duplicated for emphasis and is translated, “triumph gloriously.”
Our text uses the phrase, “glory in” that is a form of this word in Hebrew. It means to “boast in” or we would say in our day “be proud of.” You could subsitute those very words and you would be giving an very accurate interpretation of the words. But it is the meat of the subject we want to look at. Men love to boast of their wisdom, might and riches but God does not want us boasting in those. Like it or not, it is God that gives us the power or the capacity to learn, it is God that gives us strength, it is God who gives us the power to make wealth. Check out Deuteronomy 8:18 if you don't believe me. Argue as we will that we worked hard in school, we worked hard at the gym or we worked hard at the job we can not escape the fact that God determines our bounds and He gives us according as He wills. Now that does not mean that we should not learn, work out or labor hard. God commends each of those concepts and he honors hard work! What God wants is for us to honor what is most important-- our relationship with Him.
“Let him that glorieth, glory in this...” First, that he understands and knows the LORD. Second, that he knows the character of God-- lovingkindness (an Old Testament word describing grace), judgment (the judge of the earth judges right), and righteousness (true righteousness is imputed to us by faith). And, third, that God delights in these things being formed in us, His children. I have often said, “You can't go wrong delighting in what God delights in.”
The Apostle Paul must have loved this passage. We find him quoting from it in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 and in this passage, "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." "For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth." 2 Corinthians 10:17-18. O Magnify !the LORD with me!