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Bible Pathways 8/17/2001


August 17

Read Jeremiah 11 -- 14

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 (II Kings 1:8; Matthew 3:4). The girdle of white linen worn by priests represented the close relationship of the Israelites to Jehovah: As the girdle clings to the loins of a man, so I caused the whole House of Israel and the whole House of Judah to cling to Me, says the Lord (Jeremiah 13:11).

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. Eventually, the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah . . . saying . . . arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. . . . After many days. . . . the girdle was marred (13:3-7). Marred meant the girdle was rotten and unfit for a priest of God to wear. Consequently, the prophet said: Thus says the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. 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).

The people had become unfit servants of the Lord and would be controlled by Babylon, exiled (buried) for many days -- 70 years to be exact. 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 their Temple was destroyed and they were defeated by the Babylonians that the remaining Israelites realized the importance of obedience to the Word of God.

Like the Israelites, some who call themselves "Christians" are intent on satisfying their self-interests with no 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.

To . . . the church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness. . . . because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. . . . As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (Revelation 3:14-16,19).

Christ Revealed: As the Hope of Israel, the Savior of His people . . . in the midst of 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 (I 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 means done evil things; 11:23 visitation means judgment; 12:2 reins means heart; 13:22 skirts discovered . . . heels made bare means fine clothes torn off as you are driven into exile, barefoot (comp. Nahum 3:5).

Prayer Needs:
Government Official: Rep. David Price (NC) · BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Susie Wiley and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WYAM-AM, Decatur AL · Country: Taiwan (22 million) in eastern Asia · Major languages: Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese · Limited religious freedom · 93% Chinese religions; 4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray diligently with other believers and God will answer (Acts 12:5-10).

Optional Reading: II Peter 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:40

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