THE MARRING OF THE GIRDLE
The girdle that the Lord had Jeremiah purchase was a wide sash or belt that the people of Bible times used to tie their robes together. The belt Jeremiah bought was linen and was of a higher quality and value than the more common girdles made of leather. After being hid in the moist ground next to the Euphrates River for many days, the girdle was marred and “good for nothing” (v.10). The Lord testified that this is how He will soon leave the people of Judah because of their sins.
THE PRIDE OF THE PEOPLE
The people had sinned in their “great pride” (v.9). Jeremiah told them, “my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride” (v.17). The pride of the people is displayed in their lives in three ways: 1) They “refuse to hear my [the Lord’s] words”; 2) They “walk in the imagination of their heart”; 3) They “walk after other gods” (v.10). Yet, they were confident that “every bottle shall be filled with wine” (v.12). They believed that the good times would continue without end.
THE JUDGMENT OF THE PEOPLE
But God told them that their full wine bottles would lead them to drunkenness (v.13) and in their drunkenness they would be destroyed (v.14). They will be carried away into captivity (v.19) and will cry as “a woman in travail” (v.21). Yet, in all this they will be blind as to what happened and will ask, “Wherefore come these things upon me?” (v.22). God told them they have been judged “because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood” (v.25).
THE PATH AWAY FROM JUDGMENT
How could Judah have avoided this great judgment? How can you avoid the same? First, you must hear and “be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken” (v.15). You must begin your path back to Him by listening to what He has to say. Second, you must give “glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble” (v.16). Third, you must “[h]umble yourselves” and “sit down” (v.18) before the Lord and wait on Him. You cannot change your spots or bring good out of an evil heart (v.23), but God can change your very heart and make you clean (v.27) if you will seek after Him.