Again, God has blown my mind, surprised me and made me smile. How have I missed this little nugget in Jeremiah in my years of reading the Bible? I love how God continues to teach His people and prophets through everyday ordinary things. Take a look at what the Lord shows Jeremiah through dirty underwear. Yes, underwear.
This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it on, but do not put it in water.” So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on. Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates and hide it in a rocky crevice.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. Jeremiah 13:1-5
The Lord has placed a lot of things on my heart over the years, but He has never urged me to purchase underwear, wear it for a while and then hide in under a rock by the creek in our backyard for a while. Let’s not miss how obedient Jeremiah is when the Lord speaks to Him. This is an unusual request, but Jeremiah never questioned why or what in the world for, He just followed the Lords command. Then Jeremiah tell us (v. 6-7) that “a long time later” that Lord tells him to return to the same spot where he hid the underwear and dig it up. OK, maybe even a little stranger until you keep reading. Of course, Jeremiah finds what you would expect: old, dirty, stinky and maybe even decaying or wholly underwear that are of no use. Where is God going with all of this?
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. These evil people, who refuse to listen to Me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and worship—they will be like this underwear, of no use at all. Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to Me”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“so that they might be My people for My fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey. Jeremiah 13:8-11
In these verses, God uses the dirty underwear to illustrate how useless the people who have turned from His ways are to Him and foretells of their ruin. For us, this is a wonderful reminder to look for God in the ordinary. Using tangible illustrations that I will understand and be able to comprehend is one of the great ways He uses with me to teach me His ways and truth every day of my life. Not only that, it reminds us that when we put God aside and refuse to listen to Him we are nothing more than dirty underwear and useless for His kingdom and drawing the heart’s of others to Christ. I don’t know about you, but I want to me like the elastic waist in that underwear that “clings” to my Heavenly Father and cut free of the world.
Who knew underwear could teach us so much?! I love our God!