Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 08/17/2002

August 17

Read Jeremiah 11 -- 14

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah's proclamation of God's original Covenant with the Israelites; plot to murder Jeremiah; Jeremiah's complaint and God's answer; signs of the marred linen girdle (belt) and the filled bottles; message of the famine; Jeremiah's prayer.

Verses for Today:

The Word of the Lord came unto me (Jeremiah) . . . saying . . . arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it (your girdle) there in a hole of the rock. . . . After many days. . . . the girdle was marred. . . . This evil people, which refuse to hear My words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. . . . As the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused (you) to cleave unto Me . . . saith the Lord (13:3-7,10-11).

All Israelites were called to be holy and to worship and serve only the Lord, and, in return, God would provide for their needs. But many of the people had forsaken the Lord to worship idols. To illustrate their failure in fulfilling the plan of God, the Lord directed Jeremiah to get . . . a linen girdle, and put it upon [your] loins, [but not to] put it in water (to wash it) (Jeremiah 13:1). Hebrew men wore tunics, long, loose, gown-like garments. To hold the tunic close to the body while walking, they wore a sash-like belt around the waist called a "girdle." Both Elijah and John the Baptist wore leather girdles (2 Kings 1:8; Matthew 3:4). The girdle of white linen worn by priests represented the close relationship of the Israelites to Jehovah.

Jeremiah was led of God to let this white linen girdle become very dirty to impress upon the people how degrading their conduct was to God. Consequently, the prophet proclaimed: Thus [says] the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem (13:9). Marred meant the girdle was rotten and unfit for a priest of God to wear.

The people had become unfit servants of the Lord and would soon be controlled by Babylon, exiled (buried like the girdle) for many days -- 70 years to be exact (25:11-12). Jeremiah's actions illustrated the reason for what was to take place.

The Kingdom of Judah had been wonderfully blessed when they were obedient to God. But gradually they drifted into idol worship and many other evils that prevailed in Jerusalem. It was only after the Lord's Temple was destroyed and they were defeated by the Babylonians that the remaining Israelites realized the importance of obeying the Word of God.

Like the Israelites, some who call themselves "Christians" today are intent on satisfying their lusts and self-interests with no real desire to serve the Lord. Unfortunately, many will discover too late that they have forfeited their God-given privileges and that earlier opportunities to serve the Lord no longer exist.

Unto . . . the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness. . . . because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. . . . As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (Revelation 3:14-16).

Christ Revealed:

As the Hope of Israel, (the Savior of His people) . . . in the midst of us (His people) (Jeremiah 14:8-9). Christ is not only the Hope of Israel, but of all mankind. Looking for that blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy [has] begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). Neither Jews nor Gentiles will have peace until they accept Christ, the King of Peace, as their Hope and Savior (Luke 21:24-28).

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. Nahum 3:5).

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. David Price (NC) · Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Saudi Arabia (22 million) on the Arabian Peninsula in southwestern Asia · Major language: Arabic · Christian worship services for foreign personnel are tolerated, but those who seek to convert Muslims to Christianity face persecution · 99% Muslim; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray, through the name of Jesus Christ, for it is by Him that we have access to God in prayer (Ephesians 2:18).

Optional Reading: 2 Peter 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9

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