Judah breaks a pledge (covenant) (Jer. 11:1-17). We should be men and women of integrity. Jeremiah's message meets with animosity. Men of Anathoth plot to kill him but the Lord defends him (11:18-23). What is the significance of the marred belt (chap. 13)? A solemn warning (chap. 14).
All Israelites were called to be holy and to serve the Lord, as He said to Moses: I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves (live in obedience to My Word), and ye shall be holy (Lev. 11:44). And, in return, God promised to provide all their needs. Instead, the majority forsook the Lord to worship idols. To expose their failure, the Lord told Jeremiah to get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water (do not wash it) (Jer. 13:1). Hebrew men wore long, loose, gown-like garments. To hold the tunic close to the body while working, they wore a sash-like belt around the waist called a "girdle." The girdle represented the close relationship of the Israelites to Jehovah (Yahweh).
Jeremiah reported that, eventually, the Word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle . . . and . . . go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred (rotted, ruined), it was profitable for nothing (13:3-7). The girdle represented the spiritual condition of the Israelites. Then Jeremiah spoke: Thus saith the Lord. . . . This evil people, which refuse to hear My words . . . and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing (13:9-10).
Like the Israelites, some today are intent on satisfying self-interests with their talents, time, and tithes while rejecting their opportunities to serve the Lord. Unfortunately, many will discover too late that they have lost forever the opportunities given by God.
The writer of Hebrews admonishes: Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright. . . . See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven (Heb. 12:16-17,25; also Rev. 20:12).
Thought for Today:
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil (Prov. 16:6).
As the Hope of Israel, the Saviour (Jer. 14:8). Christ is the only Hope of all mankind. Looking for that blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
11:15 wrought lewdness =one evil things; 11:23 visitation =udgment; 12:2 reins =eart; 13:22 skirts discovered . . . heels made bare =ine clothes torn off as you are driven into exile, barefoot (comp. Nah. 3:5).
Pray for Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. David Price (NC) • Country: Ukraine (51 million) east-central Europe • Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian • Religious freedom • 55% Orthodox (various jurisdictions); 15% Catholic (mainly Greek-Catholic); 3.2% Protestant; 1% Jews; .5% Muslim; 25.3% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to show you any sins that you are not aware of and to cleanse you of them (Ps. 19:12).
Optional Reading: 2 Peter 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:17