Let Not the Wise Man Glory in His Wisdom

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Jeremiah 49:7-22

Edom was directly south of Judah, remote and mountainous and apparently safe from attack. According to Jeremiah’s word in Lamentations 4:21, it was the “land of Uz” of the Book of Job (see Job 1:1). It had a reputation for wisdom, for wise sayings, like those of Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, who considered themselves “wise” in the ways of God.

If you have the time to turn to the one-chapter Book of Obadiah, you will read some of the exact words we have read today, plus the explanation that we are lacking. From the lofty mountain and intellectual peaks, they had been smugly recounting Judah’s faults, while failing to confess their own.

The wisdom of this world has no place for a God of judgment and grace. So it has no place for confession of sin. Labor blames management, and vice versa. Serbs blame Croatians. Republicans blame Democrats, and on and on and on.

It is not to the high and mighty that the gospel comes as “Good News,” but to those who cry out, “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standin’ in the need of prayer.”


Gracious Lord, forgive us for the arrogant way we look down on those in distress. Were it not for Your grace we would be where they are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.