This is the prophet‘s remedy for the healing of the nation. It is the true understanding and knowledge of God, of which the first means the spiritual enlightenment of the mind 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, the other the training of the heart unto obedience John 8:31-32. This knowledge of God is further said to find in Him three chief attributes,
(1) “lovingkindness,” i. e., readiness to show grace and mercy;
(2) “judgment,” a belief in which is declared in Hebrews 11:6 to be essential to faith;
(3) “righteousness,” which is essential to religion absolutely.
Unless men believe that God‘s dealings with them in life and death are right and just, they can neither love nor reverence him.
But let him that glorieth - To glory in a thing is to depend on it as the means or cause of procuring happiness. But there can be no happiness but in being experimentally acquainted with that God who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. He who has God's mercy for his portion may well exult; for he need not fear the power of any adversary.
Sometimes the ancient heathen poets uttered sentiments of morality far beyond their dispensation. Witness Phocylides on this subject: -
Μη γαυρου σοφιῃ, μητ ' αλκῃ, μητ ' ενι πλουτῳ·<-144 Εις Θεος εστι σοφος, δυνατος θ ' ἁμα, και τολυολβοςπ .
"If wisdom, strength, or riches be thy lot,
Boast not; but rather think thou hast them not.
One God alone from whom those gifts proceed
Is wise, is mighty, and is rich indeed."
The prophet obeyed; he stood in the gate of the Lord's house and there lifted his voice in warning and entreaty. Under the inspiration of the Almighty he declared: PK 413.1
“Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these. For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor; if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever.” Jeremiah 7:2-7. PK 413.2
The unwillingness of the Lord to chastise is here vividly shown. He stays His judgments that He may plead with the impenitent. He who exercises “loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth” yearns over His erring children; in every way possible He seeks to teach them the way of life everlasting. Jeremiah 9:24. He had brought the Israelites out of bondage that they might serve Him, the only true and living God. Though they had wandered long in idolatry and had slighted His warnings, yet He now declares His willingness to defer chastisement and grant yet another opportunity for repentance. He makes plain the fact that only by the most thorough heart reformation could the impending doom be averted. In vain would be the trust they might place in the temple and its services. Rites and ceremonies could not atone for sin. Notwithstanding their claim to be the chosen people of God, reformation of heart and of the life practice alone could save them from the inevitable result of continued transgression. PK 413.3Read in context »
God is the source of all wisdom. He is infinitely wise and just and good. Apart from Christ, the wisest men that ever lived cannot comprehend Him. They may profess to be wise; they may glory in their attainments; but mere intellectual knowledge, aside from the great truths that center in Christ, is as nothingness. “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom: ... but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. CT 66.1
If men could see for a moment beyond the range of finite vision, if they could catch a glimpse of the Eternal, every mouth would be stopped in its boasting. Men living in this little atom of a world are finite; God has unnumbered worlds that are obedient to His laws and are conducted with reference to His glory. When men have gone as far in scientific research as their limited powers will permit, there is still an infinity beyond what they can apprehend. CT 66.2Read in context »
If we ever reach heaven, it will be by linking our souls to Christ, leaning upon Him, and cutting loose from the world, its follies and enchantments. There must be on our part a spiritual co-operation with the heavenly intelligences. We must believe and work and pray and watch and wait. As the purchase of the Son of God, we are His property, and everyone should have an education in the school of Christ. Both teachers and pupils are to make diligent work for eternity. The end of all things is at hand. There is need now of men armed and equipped to battle for God. 6T 148.1
It is not men whom we are to exalt, but God, the only true and living God. The unselfish life, the generous, self-sacrificing spirit, the sympathy and love of those who hold positions of trust in our institutions, should have a purifying, ennobling influence which would be eloquent for good. Their words in counsel would not then come from a self-sufficient, self-exalted spirit; but their unobtrusive virtues would be of more value than gold. If man lays hold of the divine nature, working upon the plan of addition, adding grace to grace in perfecting a Christian character, God will work upon the plan of multiplication. He says in His word: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2. 6T 148.2
“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.” Micah 6:8; 7:18. “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well.” Isaiah 1:16, 17. 6T 148.3Read in context »
“This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. And the prophet Jeremiah declared: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. Scarcely can the human mind comprehend the breadth and depth and height of the spiritual attainments of him who gains this knowledge. AA 531.1
None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ, provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection and places before us the example of Christ's character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Saviour showed that through co-operation with Divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God's assurance to us that we, too, may obtain complete victory. AA 531.2
Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God's word declares he must have before he can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man's obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ's righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sin-sick soul. He has not the wisdom or the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and He bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek Him for help. AA 532.1Read in context »
The Bible is the great educator; for it is not possible prayerfully to study its sacred pages without having the intellect disciplined, ennobled, purified, and refined. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised.” FE 171.1
Those who claim to be Christians, who profess to believe the truth, and yet drink at the polluted fountains of infidelity, and by precept and example draw others away from the cold, snow-waters of Lebanon, are fools, though they profess themselves to be wise. “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.... But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion. When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures. Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. The Portion of Jacob is not like them: for He is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: the Lord of hosts is His name.” FE 171.2
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.... O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.” FE 172.1Read in context »