1 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” 2 So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist. 3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Peratha and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” 5 So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me. 6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.
Okay, now stop and read verses 1 – 7 again. Can you see how the Lord is using an illustration to help Jeremiah, to help us understand better? You know He is getting ready to open our eyes to Truth, something we need to learn from so we don’t make the same mistake.
Now read on with an open heart, one ready to receive what it is the Lord wants to speak to you.
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.
What is pride?
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary says – “The quality or state of being proud; inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, rank, etc., which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
I believe it is an attitude of the heart, a choice we make and it takes away God’s glory, leaves Him out.
Continue reading to see what happens when we allow pride to come in.
10These 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!
He calls those with pride – wicked people. They refuse to listen to God’s Word, they think they know better than God! They are stubborn and go after other gods to serve and worship them. Do you have ‘other gods’? Are you too stubborn to give up a video game, tv program, a book you’re reading, the clothes or shoes you are buying when your closet is already full?? Whatever you put before God’s Word, whatever you put before your time with God, whatever you put before doing what He has instructed you to do…..that is your god.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be COMPLETELY useless!
11For 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.’
Ephesians 6:14 says “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist”
This is the first piece of armor we are to put on, it is the belt of truth.
If we are so full of pride that we will not listen to God, will not do what He has commanded us to do, will not put him first over the tv, book, game, etc – then we think too highly of ourselves and not enough of God. We have made ‘gods’ out of our ‘things’. We are not learning ‘Truth’ from the one that loves us and wants to direct our steps. We are not wearing our armor which protects us from the schemes of the devil, (vs 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes) – we haven’t even put on the first piece mentioned so how can we wear the ‘full’ armor?
He says we were bound to Him—to be His people for His renown. Renown means - The condition of being known or talked about by many people.
We are to KNOW Him and talk about Him. We are to give Him praise and honor.
I looked up ‘praise’ and in Hebrew Strong’s #3034 it is Yadah. It means ‘thanks, giving praise, or to confess’!!
So, if we know Him and talk about Him, we should be doing it by confession of who He is, giving Him thanks and giving Him the praise.
Now what is honor? “Regard with great respect”
So, let’s put this last part together……..He bound us to Him, put the belt of Truth on us so we can KNOW Him, talk about Him, give thanks to Him, praise Him and do this with great respect.
But we lose this when we allow pride to come in and put God off on a shelf to collect dust. I don’t know about you but I’d rather give my time, my honor to a God who loves me so much that He provides the armor, starting with the belt of Truth, to overcome the evil one. Pride will not last, you will fall, and you will become useless.
The good news is God loves you and He is waiting for you to lay these gods down, to let go of pride and return to Him. He will put that belt of Truth on you again and you will begin to wear the armor, giving God all the glory, honor and praise!
When you begin to see God’s power in your life, when you begin to know it’s Him working in and through you, when you receive your healing, your protection, etc – you want to give Him thanks, praise Him and honor Him! You won’t want any other God but Him!! So lay pride down, get rid of the ‘gods’ you've placed above the Heavenly Father that loves you so much he sent His Son to die for you.