8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless! 11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be My people for My renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’
To understand these verses we would have to look at the title of this section of the chapter A Linen Belt and the preceding seven verses. In summary the Lord told Jeremiah buy a linen belt, wear it for a period of time and then hide it in the rocks. Later He had Jeremiah remove it where it was discovered to be ruined and completely useless (verse 7).
So what happened to the linen anyway? I went looking online and discovered The more linen is washed and dried in a traditional washing machine and dryer, the softer it will get, but the faster it will fall apart. So the Lord will in the same way ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. Their pride will be gone, fallen apart, useless, without reason.
Why did this happen, why does God call them wicked people? They refused (!) to listen to His words. They followed the stubbornness of their hearts – they were stiff-necked and arrogant refusing to listen. As a result they ended up serving and worshipping other gods which were also useless. It is amazing how much trouble we can get into when we refuse to listen to God and become stubborn insisting on doing things our way and not His way. How often do we do such thing when in reality we do know better, but our pride, our stubbornness, won’t permit us admit it. Some humility would truly go a long way.
The more stubborn we are, the more we avoid being around brothers and sisters in Christ who are not stubborn and are always finding a way to put God first in their lives. As a result the pride in their hearts (our hearts) often keeps us out of church where a hymn or praise song might step on our pride. However, if we make it through the praise and worship time we have to worry the message being taught may very well step all over our pride. Then, if somehow our pride remains unscathed, we have to endure the fellowship afterwards when someone might ask if there is anything they can pray about for us. Oh no! Not that! Of course we want prayer for our stubborn prideful heart, but can we admit it?
It’s Friday and I hope you have a Great Weekend and enjoy the fourth of July fireworks. Also hope you remember to go to church and let the fireworks go off there as well. Know Jesus, know peace. No Jesus, no peace.