September 19, 2019
The passage for this day from the book of Jeremiah chapter 13 is interesting to me in how God told Jeremiah to do a specific thing. In the middle of everything else in Jeremiah’s life, the mundane daily tasks, and the more profound prophetical ones, God told Jeremiah to go buy a brand-new linen belt, wear it for a time, don’t get it wet (while wearing it), then bury it in the crevice of a rock - and leave it there. Seemed harmless enough, maybe an expenditure that would prove lost, but what is it worth to hear God and do such a task?
by Monika Surcey
Administrative Assistant of Clinch Mountain District
Jeremiah trusted the Lord, had a relationship with our God, so he did “as the Lord directed.”
Not overly familiar with this piece of Jeremiah’s historical story, I wondered where it would go – What about this linen belt? What is it? What does it mean? Would God use it to lead Jeremiah around? Or conjoin him with his people? Or did it mean to bind truth to himself in some way?
Come to find out, all are a bit true. Belts were (and still are occasionally) bound around the most core part of the body, and used to gird up one’s clothes (which were more like robes at that time), in order to make ready for a task.
Also an interesting thing about linen is that linen is a more intimate fabric at the time - especially in comparison to wool and animal skins.
Many days later the Lord told Jeremiah to go back out there and retrieve the belt from the crevice where Jeremiah had buried it. He found out that it had become “ruined and completely useless.”
So what could it all mean?
Let us consider: The clean linen belt is a bond of truth at the very core of us to God, in truth, and to be active in relationship with God. If we hide that bond in pridefulness, cramming it into a crevice, burying it and leaving it on its own and not where it belongs around our core, it becomes soiled, weathered, brittle, and useless.
Prayer: Lord of All, help us to participate in relationship with You, treasuring our bond, keeping it wrapped around us, feeling the clean sturdiness of Your Love for us that makes us ready and eager to serve and bless.