Jeremiah verses 1 to 7 record God telling Jeremiah to place his girdle (a band of cloth worn around the waist, under clothing) in a hole in a rock next to the river Euphrates. Naturally, the longer it was there the more damaged it would become. God then told him to go back to the rock to take out the girdle (which has a symbolic meaning of faithfulness). Needless to say, the cloth was beyond use and damaged.
It was God’s lesson to Jeremiah, concerning the wayward Hebrews who, over much time, knew the intimate and glorious interventions of God in their lives. Yet, they joined with sinners, sinned, and did not repent. The penalty was stark (verses 9-11):
“Thus saith 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.
For 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; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”
There is nothing ‘airy-fairy’ about what God does! His benefits and judgments are not just in the head, or vague. His benefits to men are overflowing and great; his judgments are firm and observable, without repentance. Do not provoke Him!
God’s people are called “evil” because they refuse to hear His words; they worship other than the One True Lord; and so they are “good for nothing”, just like the rotted girdle. It was not how it ought to be, for God had ordained and chosen them to be His people, favoured above all others! Here they were, favoured and blessed, and still they turn to sin. But, sin has consequences, and they can often be severe. We are called to be God’s children, but God says of us, “they would not hear”! What foolish people we are. We are promised everything, but we choose to reap from sin, ignoring the blessings of Almighty God. We deserve far more rebuke than we get!
“Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.”
We expect, as God’s people, that He will always look after us; we expect things to go on as they always do. But, what we expect will not happen. The Hebrews expected God to give them a bountiful source of wine. But, instead of what they expect as a benefit literally turned sour, as the people preferred drunkenness to proper drinking of wine. Their drunkenness was a symbol for their general immorality and sinfulness. Each would destroy the other! Watch drunks in your town centre… how pathetic they are, rolling about, falling down, and even being violent. Their lives are worthless except they repent and stop their behaviour. Unlike ignorant Christians, God has no pity for them! Nor does He spare them… but destroys them. We are like them!
“Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, [and] make [it] gross darkness.
But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for [your] pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive.”
What has all this to do with you in modern times? Everything! Christians today are lost in their own pride. By ignoring God and truth they have conjured-up a false image of God and faith! What many worship is not God, but a picture of Him they have devised by their denominational and personal pretences. Many cults and occults have arisen precisely because the supposed people of God have gone back on their salvation. And many personalise interpretation of scripture, displacing truth.
Homosexuals, secularists, atheists, all arise arrogantly, because we, the saved, prefer comfort to battle; we have given over our rightful rule over all things, to people who hate us and God. To those who think they are safe, I would challenge and say “Show me what you believe and do, and I will show you why it is godless”! I can say this to most people who call themselves ‘saved’. Does this make me proud of myself? No, it just means I have taken heed of God’s warnings, whereas many have not.
The shadow of death and the darkness are overwhelming the world, just as God warned. Yet, we continue to sleep or to live according to our own desires. Wake up, friends, before it is too late! Let God fight our cause… or stay asleep.
© February 2012
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
Please 'Make a Donation' to support the work of Bible Theology Ministries