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Bible Pathways - Aug. 17, 2009

August 17

Read Jeremiah 11

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Judah breaks a pledge (covenant) (11:1-17). We should be men and women of integrity. Jeremiah's message was delivered but was most unwelcome. Men of Anathoth plot to kill him but the Lord is his defense (11:18-23). What is the significance of the marred belt (chap. 13)? A solemn warning (chap. 14).

The Hebrew men wore tunics — long, loose, gown-like garments. In order to hold the tunic close to the body, when working or active, they wore a sash-like belt called a girdle. Both Elijah and John the Baptist were girt with a girdle of leather (II Kin. 1:8; Matt. 3:4; Acts 21:8-11; II Sam. 22:40; Ex. 12:11).

The girdles of linen cloth worn by the priests represented the close, holy relationship of Judah and Jerusalem to the Lord. As the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole House of Israel and the whole House of Judah, saith the Lord (Jer. 13:11). The Israelites were to be as holy priests — obedient to the Lord — so that all nations would see the need to give up their idols and worship the One True God. But the Israelites had forsaken the Lord and were no longer a witness to the world.

The Lord directed Jeremiah to purchase and then wear a linen girdle until it became very dirty and put it not in water (not wash it) (13:1). Eventually, he was told: 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. . . . after many days . . . the girdle was . . . profitable for nothing. . . . Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar . . . the great pride of Jerusalem (13:4-9). Then Jeremiah was to wear the decayed girdle back to Jerusalem to impress upon the people that, because they had become unfit servants of the Lord, they would be carried into Babylonia and "buried" there for "many days."

The nation of Judah had been so wonderfully blessed, yet its people ignored the Word of God and, consequently, worshiped idols. It was only after they were pitifully humiliated as slaves to the Babylonians that the Israelites realized the full meaning of I will mar . . . the great pride of Jerusalem (13:9).

Some today have become involved in satisfying their own self-interests. Unfortunately, too late in life they will discover that their eternal opportunities to serve the Lord no longer exist.

We have been warned: In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient . . . unholy . . . from such turn away (II Tim. 3:1-5).

Thought for Today:

The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Ps. 37:11).

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 =one evil things; 11:23 visitation =udgment; 12:2 reins =eart; 13:22 skirts discovered . . . heels made bare =ine clothes torn off as you are driven into exile, barefoot (comp. Nah. 3:5).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by a Family Who Loves Jesus • Staff: Al Joslyn • Government Officials: Sen. Norm Coleman (MN) and Rep. David Price (NC) • Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom • 87% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 1.5% Muslim; 1% Jewish; 2.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and intercede for your family (Job 1:5).

Optional Reading: 2 Peter 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:32

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