What does it mean to be real? That’s the very big question answered in the small children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s the story of toys in a nursery and the velveteen rabbit’s journey to become real by allowing himself to be loved by a child. One of the other toys is the old and wise Skin Horse. He “had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by and by break . . . and pass away.” They looked and sounded impressive, but their bragging eventually amounted to nothing when it came to love.
Boasting starts out strong; but in the end, it always fades away. Jeremiah lists three areas where this is evident: “wisdom . . . strength . . . riches” (Jeremiah 9:23). The wise old prophet had been around long enough to know a thing or two, and he countered such boasting with the Lord’s truth: “But let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the
Let us, the children, brag about God, our good Father. In the unfolding story of His great love, it’s the wonderful way you and I grow to become more and more real.
Think of a person you know who embodies the ability to “boast in the Lord.” What is one way this week you can follow their example?
Circumcision was not exclusive to the Israelites, for it was widely practiced in the ancient world, including among the Egyptians and the Canaanite peoples (Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites) mentioned in Jeremiah 9:26. When God made a covenant with Abraham, He made circumcision the confirming sign that the Jews were God’s covenantal people (Genesis 17:10–14). For the Israelites, circumcision was the symbol of separation, purity, and loyalty to the covenant. This physical cutting of the body was to be a symbol of a more important spiritual transformation of the heart (Deuteronomy 10:16). Moses explained that “The