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Bible Pathways 08/17/2003

August 17

Read Jeremiah 11 -- 14

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah's proclamation of God's Covenant; plot against Jeremiah; Jeremiah's complaint; ruined belt (girdle); filled bottles; famine

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, and ye shall be holy (Leviticus 11:44). And, in return, God promised to provide all their needs. But, the majority of the people had forsaken the Lord to worship idols. To illustrate their failure, the Lord directed Jeremiah to go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not 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 or working, they wore a sash-like belt around the waist called "a belt, a band, or a girdle." The belt of white linen worn by priests represented the close relationship of the Israelites to Jehovah.

Jeremiah reports that, eventually, the Word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, 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, it was profitable for nothing (13:3-7). Marred meant the girdle (belt) was rotten and unfit for a priest of God to wear. 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, 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 (13:9-10).

Like the Israelites, some today are intent on satisfying their self-interests with their talents, time, and tithes, and reject their opportunities to use them in serving the Lord. Unfortunately, many will discover too late that they have forfeited their God-given opportunities to enjoy the truly good life with the assurance of eternal life.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected. . . . 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 (Hebrews 12:14-17,25).

Christ Revealed:

As the Hope of Israel, the Saviour (Jeremiah 14:8). 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 Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (I Peter 1:3). Neither Jews nor Gentiles will have peace until they accept Christ, the King of Peace, as their Hope and Savior.

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 (compare Nahum 3:5).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Edith Bennett and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WOMI-AM, Owensboro, KY · Government Officials: Sen. Norm Coleman (MN) and Rep. David Price (NC) · Country: Nicaragua (5 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Limited religious freedom · 95% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything (Philippians 4:6).

Optional Reading: II Peter 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:24

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