Can you hear?Jeremiah 13:1-14$B-5(B The covenant of God
These two stories of jug and waistband which are told in Chapter 13, these are interesting in the sense of the form of the prophet of Jeremiah. Probably, these two things were talked about at the time of different, but it is thought that it was gathered up here in editorial process. Therefore, this is a place to wonder whether I may handle it together, but as a special form of the prophecy, I decided to pick up these two together. At first, it is from the message of "waistband" (1-11).
At first, I want to trace a very simple course of this story. "Go and buy yourself a linen waistband, and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water." (1) Jeremiah did so. "Take the waistband that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock." (4) Jeremiah obeyed. Many days later, God said to him. "Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there." (6) When he took out it, the waistband was bad, and useless. (1-7). The story is that all. About the thing that Jeremiah went twice to the Euphrates of the distance of nearly 1000 km, there are people who think that it is talking about the Babylon captivity and the return from there, by some representation or apocalypse; but probably, this was the fact, I think. It is because it came out from God. By the way, why this waistband event would have been necessary? It might be an unnecessary, but I want to think about it. It is my imagination, because nothing is touched here; but, though he talked many times about the extinction by Babylon as a message from God, but nobody took it seriously. Probably, it would have been necessary to go to the Euphrates twice, using time of nearly one year, to have them hear it seriously. This message is something that was born by such a tussle with God. We, modern people, should ask whether the message which is talked and heard by the worship of every week used such a time and labor. At least, I want to approach the time and effort that the prophet spent, here.
By the way, for Israeli people, waistband was the decoration of the clothes of the man, and was intended to tighten the body at the time of a battle. Probably, it will point at the covenant with God. That waistband was rotted into pieces during a long term of captivity, and became worthless. There is no description at all, for what it means to be useless, because Jeremiah was not at the time of return. However, in spite of the sin of Israel, God stood before Israel and carried them, or, it may say that Israel was able to come through a crisis of the extinction which attacked many times in a long time by a support of God. Anyway, it will be no doubt that a representation of "a long period" and of "rotten waistband" affects the covenant of God and Israel.
$B-6(B Like a rotten waistband
Jeremiah did a round trip to the Euphrates twice; it came from God. Therefore, it was important its representation implies. About it, God said. "Thus says the Lord, 'Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just this waistband, which is totally worthless.'" (9-11) There is it "I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem"; but, that big pride is nothing but that "they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory;". Judah and Jerusalem were people of God.The speaking way of "Judah and Jerusalem" is a speaking way to compare the association of 10 north tribes. The north kingdom of Israel was incorporated in the united kingdom of Israeli by David, but originally it was a member of traditional Amphictyony which assumed Yahweh King. However, they understood the covenant of God to David, the covenant of the sacred people in Jerusalem sanctuary, and agreed to the united kingdom participation. However, that covenant was broken by Solomon and his son Rehoboam, and they left from the united kingdom, but could not back to previous Amphictyony, and could not establish their sanctuary anywhere. The north Israel kingdom transformed itself from Yahwism into the cultus religion of the paganism to worship gods of Canaan and has run to extinction at last. Though Judah and Jerusalem had to learn from such a bad example of the north kingdom", they clung to the semblance of glory that they are the best people by covenant of David; however, while proud of it, in essence, as well as the north kingdom, they continued to degenerate into religious sacrifice worshiping pagan gods. Such their big pride, "they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory", it became like a rotten waistband pickled in water of the Euphrates.
Though such decoration has been got rid in front of God, they are not going to change the way of life. Such a state of Jewish seems to continue in the present age. Not only the Jew, but it is able to say also to us, modern people. We modern people were created as His best masterpiece by the Creator, but we dominate all over the world including an animal and the plant, and continue increasing endangered species at choice, like a totally rotten waistband. The one who should be afraid of the Creator, will it not be we modern people?
$B-7(B Can you hear?
It is another thing. Probably, it seems the divine message of the Lord which was told to Jeremiah at the different time.
"Therefore you are to speak this word to them, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, "Every jug is to be filled with wine."' And when they say to you, 'Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?' then you say to them, 'Thus says the Lord, "Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants od this land---the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem---with drunkenness! And I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together," declares the Lord. "I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion that I should not destroy them."'" (12-14) This is a state of that banquets. Probably, the banquet would have been held on some kind of holidays. Possibly, it might be a scene in the shrine inner court. Because, there was not binge drinking and singing, in the festival of Yahweh from the old days; so, the pagan festival of Baal and goddess Ishtar seems to show their face in here. Jeremiah who peeped such banquet said with full of irony. "Would it be jug to satisfy the wine?" "Yeah, we are jug. Shall we drink more and more!" For the drinkers, do they want to drink until where they cannot drink anymore? It gradually loses an end. At "wedding ceremony (2:1-11) of Cana" in the Gospel of John, it continued drinking for one week, however, the consciousness that they were ashamed to run out of wine was glimpses; but surely, it was the present conditions of Israel. They have fallen into sweet ecstasy peculiar to a drinker, now. They have been already faced self-division and a crisis of the internal collapse, but when they were pointed out it by prophet, they would not be able to escape from that quagmire more and more while saying "we know such a thing". Such state would have been said in the example of jug.
However, they could not realize an umpire of God while saying "we know it". This is piled up in the present age, too. You're wandering sight of important things like a rotten waistband, and falling into self-destruct by crazy by making yourself jug; those are something showing that you are far away from God. These problems of Israel are also our problems. Can you hear a message of Jeremiah and Peter who are saying that we should admit that our own problems are confronting? Peter says, "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away," (Acts 3:19)