Highlights In Today's Reading:
WOW! God didn't forget the conditions of His Covenant which He made when Israel entered the Promised Land (Jeremiah 11:1-5, Deuteronomy 30:1-3). The fact is God expects obedience but because of their disobedience He allows evil to come on them. Read 11:13. Jeremiah continues to pray for the people even when he knows they are plotting to kill him (11:18-23). He still preaches, using symbols, to persuade them. Look what he uses in 13:1-11!
It seems strange indeed that God would command His chosen prophet to travel more than 350 miles to the Euphrates River, bury a girdle there until it was rotten. Later he wass to wear the worthless garment back to Jerusalem to tell Judah of its national spiritual condition before the Lord.
Judah refused to accept the Word of God as spoken by Jeremiah the prophet who warned that, because of their unbelief, God would destroy the great pride of Jerusalem (13:9). It had lost its usefulness as His representative. God illustrated this by telling Jeremiah to bury a linen girdle near Babylon where they would later 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 God's servants. 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.
The inhabitants of Judah were the chosen people of God, and the kingdom that had access to Him above all other nations. To them were committed the Word of God and His ways to worship Him.
Jeremiah's long journey may have seemed a waste of time and effort but his unquestioned obedience testified of his willingness to fulfill God's will. 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 in place of God. Forsaking the true, he follows the false.
Some may ask: "Why go to Euphrates? Why wear a rotten girdle? What will people think?" Jeremiah without questioning obeyed God in contrast to his fellow countrymen.
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:
If you want God's power to flow through your life, be obedient to His Word.
As the Hope of Israel, the Saviour (Jeremiah 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 =b> done evil things; 11:23 visitation =b> judgment; 12:2 reins =b> heart; 13:22 skirts discovered . . . heels made bare =b> fine clothes torn off as you are driven into exile, barefoot (comp. Nahum 3:5).
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Norm Coleman (MN) and Rep. David Price (NC) • Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa • Major languages: Kirundi and French • Losing religious freedom • 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray, in faith, for God to work a miracle (II Kings 4:33-34).
Optional Reading: 2 Peter 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:18