Oppressed or Depressed? Try Boasting in God!

By Allen J. Huth, President of the Ezra Project   |   July 9, 2018

Today, let’s look at Jeremiah chapter nine, starting with verses 13-16:

And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: behold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them poisonous water to drink.  I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”

Most of us have been taught that good things come from the Father; but here we see God feed people with bitter food, poisonous water, and consume them with the sword in battle. You may feel you are suffering like that today. If you feel oppressed or depressed, maybe it is because you have been disobedient to the Lord. Maybe you sense an oppressive hand from God on your life right now. If so, come back to the Lord. That’s why He does this. He may apply a little pressure on your life once in a while to get you to return to Him. If so, remember Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good (for) those who love God, (and) who are the called according to His purpose”.

In my personal Bible reading journal way back in 1991, I wrote concerning this passage, “Advice,” and I was referring to Jeremiah 9:23-24, which says:

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

These verses remind us that whether it be wisdom, might, or riches, they all come from the Lord, therefore, we have no claim to boast.

The last verses I referred to in 1991 were Jeremiah 10:23-24, which say:

 I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.  Correct me, O Lord, but in justice, not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.

You may think you are walking out your own life, but this verse tells me that may not be so. “That it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). If your walk is a little uphill, or your path may not be very straight, it may be because God is trying to correct your steps. Submit to Him today so He doesn’t have to do it in anger, but in justice. Thank You, Lord, for intervening in our walk in this life.

 PRAYER

 Lord, we bow our hearts humbly before You after reading these verses in Jeremiah today. We learned that if we are suffering, if we are oppressed, if our course is not straight, it may be because You are trying to get our attention.

The words of Jeremiah stung the people of Jerusalem. They are stinging us as well as we hear the words and apply them to our own lives. We learn, Lord, that You have high standards. We are reminded in these verses today that there is none like You, O Lord. You are great and Your name is great in might. That You are the true God, the Living God, the Everlasting King. That You made the earth by Your power. You establish the world by Your wisdom. You stretched out the heavens. Thank You for reminding us there is none like You.

Forgive us for boasting in our wisdom, our might, or in our riches. After this passage, Lord, we set all that aside and we only boast in knowing You, the one who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. You are the Mighty King, Master of Everything. We boast in You. Amen.