Those who persist in sin, ignoring God’s Word, make themselves vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.
If one judgment does not do the work,
God will send one upon another until they are utterly brought to ruin.
1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.
2 So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.
3 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,
4 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.
5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
6 And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.
7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
9 Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
10 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.
11 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.
12 ¶ 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?
13 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.
14 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.
15 ¶ Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
16 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.
17 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.
18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.
19 The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.
20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?
21 What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?
22 ¶ And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare.
23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.
25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
Jeremiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Jeremiah 13:1-11, 20-25 – The Parable of the Girdle
This parable of the girdle may really have been transacted. By some such striking symbol before them the attention of the people must have been powerfully arrested. Or, it may be that this is only a vivid style of presentation. Whichever it is, the chief idea is the intimacy of relationship between the Chosen People and their God, Jeremiah 13:11. Oh, that He would cause us to cleave to Him! The degradation of the best produces the worst, and nothing more strikingly sets forth the condition to which those may sink who have abused the highest possibilities, than the condition of this marred and profitless girdle. Let us beware! since capable of God’s best and highest, we are also liable to the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Jerusalem is apostrophized, and asked where was the beautiful flock of sister and daughter towns which had gathered under her lead. They had been destroyed, and their people were in captivity. Their destruction had come from those who had been allies and friends, Jeremiah 13:21; but their sin was so deeply seated and inveterate that such a fate was inevitable. There was no hope of reformation, Jeremiah 13:23. It was easier to expect a leopard to change his spots than that Israel should do good. Only Christ can do this for us. He can with a word arrest a Niagara in its fall and bid it leap back. His grace can cause the leprosy of inbred sin to cease its hold, never again to pollute the soul. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Jeremiah 13:11—That they might be unto Me for a people, and for a name, and for a glory.
Israel had the opportunity of becoming a people, a name, and a glory; but they would not. In their declension and refusal God has turned to the Church, largely chosen from among the Gentiles, and in which we by his grace have a part. To us their privileges are offered. Let us gladly avail ourselves of them, and become unto God the people of his inheritance, in whom He may find a welcome and a home. Oh to be a name to Him, so that men may understand and revere Him the better because of what we are! Oh to be a glory to Him, so that He may account us as his choice ornament and jewel! Oh to be as intimately united to Him as the girdle worn on the prophet’s loins!
Our hearts misgive us as we write or read. How can such things be? Behold, like that same girdle we have become marred and profitless. Yet, there is one phrase here which is radiant with hope: “As the girdle cleaveth… so have I caused to cleave.” “Caused to cleave.” We are not able to cleave; we have so often tried to, and failed; but now we come in humble eagerness before Him, and say, “Cause us to cleave, O God; cause us to walk in thy ways; cause us to do thy will; cause us to be a people, a name, and a glory unto Thyself.”
“O man,” Tersteegen said, “whoever you are, stand still for a moment, and think earnestly of the high dignity for which you were created and sent into the world by God. You were not made for time and for passing things, but for God and eternity, and to have your heart filled with God and with the things eternal. Yield yourself up fearlessly to his mighty working, and be still, and welcome Him in his gracious operation in the heart.” —Our Daily Homily