Ears To Hear

Continuing through Jeremiah, you ran across chapter thirteen. Weird, right? First of all, a loincloth? I can’t think of the last time a loincloth has come up in one of my conversations.

Firstly, a loincloth held the outer clothing in place. Typically, the “belt” would cling to one’s person. However, what makes this belt different was it was to be made of linen (13:1) rather than leather. Previously, only the priest wore linen. So why would the prophet be told the loincloth was to be linen?  Linen signified purity.  And each time linen was put on, it was to remind the wearer of the presence of God.

Secondly, Jeremiah is told to make the long journey to the Euphrates and hide the clothing near the river.  After some time, he’s told to retrieve his clothing.  But as he returns, Jeremiah finds it “spoiled” and good for nothing” (13:7).  The text goes on to say God would make the Israelites acknowledge their pride.  It’s important to quote here:

This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.  For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listenvss 10-11 emphasis mine

ears

God desires a relationship with His people.  In fact, at a risk of over-simplifying a statement, He reaches out to the Israelites more than once.  Yet they choose to do their own thing.  And eventually God has enough.  He commissions the prophet to make a point about Israel’s sin.  They’re pride and arrogance is passed the point of no return.  They’re not hearing God’s call to return.  They’re selfish and it’s time to be called on their sin.

You might think these are uneducated people.  They didn’t have the knowledge we have.  But wait a sec.  What makes us any different from them?  Sure, they didn’t have the Word as we know it.  But they had the Law and the Prophets and still refused to heed the warnings.  They continued down the same path of destruction and believed they would get by with their rebellion.  We do the same.  We cry “foul” when we’re disciplined for our sin.  We worship money, material possessions, the things of the world.  Yet we don’t learn from previous choices.

Let’s not be too quick to judge these people.  Let’s look first at our own lives and decide what God is calling us to change.  I’m not interested in a resolution that will last a few days or a few weeks.  I’m talking about a life long change.  What has God been speaking, prodding, screaming for us to change but we’ve chosen not to listen?  Thankfully, it’s not too late!

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2 Responses to “Ears To Hear”

  1. I am a continuous work in progress, just learning to listen is the one he is constantly working in me!

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