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Bible Pathway - Aug. 17, 2011


Read Jeremiah 11


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 moldy belt (chap. 13)? A solemn warning (chap. 14).

It seems strange indeed that God would command His chosen prophet to travel more than 350 miles to the Euphrates River, bury a girdle, and leave it there until it was rotten. Later he was to wear the worthless garment back to Jerusalem to tell Judah of its national spiritual condition before the Lord.

The inhabitants of Judah were the chosen people of God and the kingdom that had access to Him above all other nations. He had committed to them the Word of God and the proper way to worship Him. But, Judah had refused to accept the Word of God as spoken by Jeremiah the prophet when he warned that, because of their self-will and unbelief, God would destroy the great pride of Jerusalem (Jer. 13:9). They had lost their usefulness as His representatives. God illustrated this by telling Jeremiah to bury a linen girdle near Babylon where they later would be taken as slaves. (Linen was symbolic of righteousness.)

After the girdle had decayed, he was directed to dig it up and take it back to Jerusalem. Its filth and worthlessness illustrated that Judah's unrighteous condition made the nation unworthy to be servants of God. Just as the girdle was buried, the kingdom of Judah would be "buried" for 70 years as captives until they could see, confess, and repent of the rottenness of their self-willed pride that had led them into idol worship. Then God would graciously bring about their return to Jerusalem.

Jeremiah's long journey may have seemed a waste of time and effort, but his unquestioned obedience testified of his willingness to fulfill the will of God. For thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah. . . . This evil people, which refuse to hear My words . . . shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing (13:9-10). When a person will not submit to the Word of God, he sets up an idol — something or someone else — in place of God. Forsaking the true, he follows the false.

Some may ask: "Why go to the Euphrates? Why wear a rotten girdle? What will people think?" In contrast to his fellow countrymen, Jeremiah obeyed God.

He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him (John 8:29).

Thought for Today:

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (I Sam. 15:22).

Christ Revealed:

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).

Word Studies:

11:15 wrought lewdness done evil things; 11:23 visitation judgment; 12:2 reins heart; 13:22 skirts discovered . . . heels made bare fine clothes torn off as you are driven into exile, barefoot (comp. Nah. 3:5).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Official: Rep. David Price (NC) • Country: Sudan (28.9 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert • Major languages: Arabic and Nubian • Limited religious freedom • 70% Sunni Muslim; 19% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Revere and worship the Lord with godly fear and you will have no want (Ps. 34:9).

Optional Reading:

2 Peter 2

Memory Verse for the Week:

2 Timothy 3:2

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