Jeremiah 13 Commentary

Jeremiah 13 Commentary

First is an acted parable: the “Linen Belt.” The explanation follows but there is still value in the raw process. The LORD gives Jeremiah instructions in installments. We would guess Jeremiah had no idea what the LORD wanted him to do next. Probably he thought the LORD wanted him to look great with a leather belt around his waist!

We cannot always know the end from the beginning. We are humans. Many times we must wait for the next instruction.

The belt is representing the bond between the LORD and Israel. It is intact as long as it remains in place. It is a like branch that is completely useless off the main tree. Israel has been in this position for a long time.

It is obvious; wine skins must be filled with wine, but why is Jeremiah even talking about it? Similarly, is it not just obvious that a man off the presence of the LORD is useless? And useless things are destroyed. So Jerusalem would be attacked and exiled.

Stating the obvious can be annoying. Are we empty heads? Am I so low? The LORD seems to have the same frustration. Israel hasn’t listened to the simple message – the obvious. You cannot function and make it all by yourself. The belt should not be out there alone, exposed to lies.

The exile here is comparable to the exile from the Garden of peace and tranquility. The key line is the absence of the presence of the LORD. Like the belt, without the bond, it is out there alone and suffers total destruction. So shall Jerusalem be. Wickedness or idolatry is the active agent in this process. It provides the propensity required for destruction. It is the fuel.

We can think of exile in small pockets of our lives. The saint can always feel and experience this exile whenever they are disconnected from the LORD by way of sin.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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