Thus said the LORD to me, “Go and buy a linen waistcloth, and put it on your loins, and do not dip it in water.” So I bought a waistcloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. –Jeremiah 13:1-11
Okay, at this point in Lent I include this passage from Jeremiah with tongue in cheek. Maybe you need a laugh, or at least a little chuckle, as we are about mid-way through Lent. Go and buy a linen waistcloth—and put it on my loins?
The fact is, the LORD is using the loincloth as an object lesson for Jeremiah, to show Him what will happen to Israel and Judah for their sin and disobedience—as the waistcloth finally is spoiled and good for nothing. But the point remains: we are to do what the LORD commands. We are to follow His Word and do His will, even when it may seem to us silly, foolish, or out of character. Jeremiah models for us complete obedience, reminding us that though we may not understand why God is leading us down a certain path, God has a plan.
I have mentioned in several sermons a thoughtful little plaque containing the words of Corrie ten Boom that Susan and I have in our home:
Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
Our human nature causes us to want to question God, and we challenge God to explain His requests, His commands, His instructions. Like irritating children, we find it hard to obey God in faith, rather, worrying Him with our protests. Jeremiah’s example calls us to radical, full, complete obedience…even if it means going out and buying a loincloth!
O LORD our God, when you command us, when you instruct us, when you set us on a certain path, give us faith to obey without hesitation or doubt; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.