Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might…
I. THERE IS A DISPOSITION IN MEN TO GLORY AND SELF-CONFIDENCE ON ACCOUNT OF THE PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS WHICH DISTINGUISH THEM IN THE EYES OF THEIR FELLOW CREATURES.
1. Bodily strength inspires the idea of great actions in its possessors, and frequently makes them arrogant and proud. It induces them to assume what does not belong to them, to violate the properties of life, and to carry about with them a spirit of defiance and insult in their intercourse with their fellow creatures.
2. Worldly wisdom inspires confidence more than that which is attached to the grosser qualities of the human frame; and no men are more in danger of being wise in their own eyes than those who possess this quality.
3. Nothing is so calculated to fill men with insufferable pride as the possession of extraordinary riches. It produces a semblance of homage or respect — it commands the services of mankind — it levies a contribution on all nature and society, and gives to those who possess it a sort of universal empire; and it is not at all to be wondered at that these minds are more tempted by pride and glory than those who seek to be distinguished by worldly wisdom.
II. THE FALSE AND ERRONEOUS BASIS ON WHICH THESE SENTIMENTS OF GLORY AND SELF-CONFIDENCE ARE FOUNDED.
1. Neither separately taken, nor in their combined form, will they ever teach their possessors their true use; but they frequently turn to hurt, not only to society at large, but to their own possessors.
2. These things are utterly incapable, either separately or combined, of supplying some of the most pressing wants, and avoiding some of the most obvious evils to which our nature is exposed.
3. They are of a very transient duration and possession.
III. THERE IS AN OBJECT WHICH IS OF SUCH A NATURE THAT IT WILL JUSTIFY THE GLORY, THE CONFIDENCE, THE SELF-SATISFACTION, WHICH IT IS DECLARED OUGHT NOT FOR A MOMENT TO BE CONNECTED WITH THOSE WHICH ARE BEFORE ENUMERATED.
1. True religion will teach us the proper regulation and employment of all these endowments.
2. There is a perpetuity and pledge of future and eternal felicity in the religion of Jesus Christ; not only that which produces present tranquillity and peace, but that which furnishes the pledge of an enduring and eternal happiness.
(R. Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: