Bragging Rights#3. “Let not the rich boast of their riches” (Jer.9:23).

Bragging Rights#3. “Let not the rich boast of their riches” (Jer.9:23).

Netflix and their compatriots are spoilt for choice when seeking plots about the transforming nature of money. Everyone knows a story about someone who was made and then ruined, by money. The central point of such plots is that money takes everything down with it, with rare exceptions.

The wealthiest of this world live lives that most of us will never see into, let alone enter. So why would the prophet, Jeremiah, send a personal warning to the wealthy of Israel; people who would be the last to take such a warning to heart?

Wealth is the mother of the destructive twins, Paranoia and Incautious. Paranoia is ever suspect that someone somewhere is plotting to steal his earthly fortune, and all the while his brother, Incautious, is training his soul to disregard its destiny.

For every rich man, there is a thousand who want what he has. Those of modest means, and especially those enslaved to debt, believe with all their hearts that a healthy contribution from a rich friend would solve all their problems.

Jeremiah was sending a message to all who boasted in riches; theirs or someone else’s. All that money spent on securing Jerusalem against its enemies would mean nothing in the day of destruction. For it was God who had called the Babylonian’s to destroy Jerusalem. Their wealth would be snatched from their sight and their very bodies disposed of as slaves in Babylon.

Does Jeremiah have a message for today? Are we any less dependent upon the rich to tell us how secure we are? Haven’t we merely upgraded our arsenal from slings and arrows to assault rifles and missiles?

Men and nations still boast of their wealth and power.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. God has said,
“I will never leave you;
I will never abandon you.”
(Hebrews 13:5).

John Staiger

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