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A Linen Belt March 18, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Jeremiah 13:1-11.

Summary: In this passage, God conducts the following object lesson with Jeremiah:

  • He instructs him to purchase a linen belt – and maintain its purity
  • He then instructs him to bring that belt to Perath and conceal it in a crevice in the rocks
  • After some time has passed, He instructs him to retrieve that belt – which is now ruined and useless.

Indeed, that belt is a metaphor for the people of Jerusalem and Judah. Initially, God set them apart, binding them to Himself with a holy covenant. Yet their idolatry has ruined them in His eyes.

Thoughts: Here, we see that God provided Jeremiah with various instructions concerning a linen belt. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verses 1-9:

Doubtless a vision is being narrated here, and not a real transaction, as some people think.

When I meet Jeremiah in the next life, I will query him on this point. Did this passage involve “a real transaction,” or did it consist of “a vision?” On one hand, if it consisted of a vision, what were his thoughts and emotions after that vision? Was he overwhelmed by grief at the fallen state of his compatriots? On the other hand, if it involved a real transaction, what were his thoughts and emotions during that sequence of events? Was he baffled by God’s instructions?

In verse 11, we see that God brought the people of Jerusalem and Judah into a covenant relationship with Him “for my renown and praise and honor.” This is a valuable reminder of our ultimate purpose in life – to glorify God. Thus, I was spurred to assess my own life and consider how I am glorifying God on a daily basis. Now I do wonder: am I truly giving God my best on a daily basis? Having strolled through all of Paul’s epistles, I see that he drove himself to exhaustion for God’s glory on a daily basis. As a resident of a First World country, am I called to emulate Paul’s lifestyle? This is a difficult question to answer…so at this point, my prayer is that God would continue to mold me and shape me so that He would be pleased with me at each stage of my life.