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Dirty Girdles by the Riverside


Sounds like the name of a bad country song. But no, it’s a story in the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 13. The lamenting, ever so fed up prophet that God gives an odd instruction to use for an illustration in a sermon.

God tells Jeremiah to get his girdle (a belt of sorts) and put it around his waist and not wash it. Thus… the dirty girdle. Stay with me here! This story is going places. He then tells him to take a trip down by the River Euphrates and hide the girdle in a hole in the rock which God uses to illustrate the soon to be state of Israel. The only one more fed up the Jeremiah, is God.

Verse 11 sums it up when God says

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.

To go way out on a limb and paraphrase what God is saying to Jeremiah would be “I just wanted my people to hang tight to me, but that wouldn’t listen.”

Isn’t it a sad state of affairs in the life of a Christian that we have but one way to please God, and that’s just to listen to Him. And we can’t do it. At least I can’t. Perhaps you’re more obedient than I am. Even in the course of this morning’s study, I’m taking messages, I’ve got life on my mind and it’s as if I’m saying to God, “Can you hold that thought, I’ll be right back.”

Seriously, did you just shush God, Shari?

That’s basically it. When God has a message and we fail to hear, isn’t that shushing God? That’s about as crazy as dirty girdles in the river being used as a sermon illustration. And as crazy as thought that was it had me heart sick when Jeremiah went back to remove the girdle and it was rotten and torn and the scripture says it was “good for nothing” (vs. 10)

The very thing that will hold us together, like the belt on a man’s britches, is worthless. Because what holds the people of God together isn’t being heeded to. We’re not listening.

In first Peter 1:13 Peter says:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Again God says “Hang tight, stay with Me, be serious about your faith.” But much like my bible study this morning we’re distracted by life. I believe God understands my weaknesses. He knows I struggle and that you do as well. But all He’s desiring is our company. That’s not much for the Creator to ask for. When we go into the world, take Him to. Make him a part of everyday life. Put Him on like a coat and buckle Him up tight like a belt that can’t be torn off. Don’t be a good for a nothin’. That’s a quote from childhood when someone spoke of a person who wouldn’t work. It’s Friday, the last day of the work week for most… but every day is a work day for Jesus until He returns.