Good for Nothing


Jeremiah was given a strange and discreet act that was eventually made public to a dismayed nation. Learn more from a study of Jeremiah 13!


Lord, thank You that in judgment You remember mercy. Let me walk in grace and also in truth.


Jeremiah 13:1-17


What does the imagery of the passage symbolize?

Many summers ago I visited Edinburgh during that city's annual international festival. Near the railway station a couple faced each other, gesticulating wildly and speaking Italian. A large crowd had gathered around them, believing this to be excellent street theater. They turned out to be a married couple who were having a disagreement, and were somewhat surprised by their audience. Their actions were misunderstood. Their very public disagreement captivated the crowd.

Jeremiah's task is strange and discreet. Burying an expensive clothing accessory, in a distant river in Egypt, is odd (4). This is prophetic drama but without a crowd. The narrative takes place in silence. Created for exclusive intimacy with God, Israel is now good for nothing (10,11). Instead of clinging to him they have clung to others. It's over. God will not share his glory or indeed his people with other gods.

Eventually this hidden and enigmatic act will be made public to a dismayed nation. And Jeremiah will weep bitterly over the message he must deliver (17).


Consider how you would respond if God called you to bring a message like this. Speak truth where you are.


Father, may Your church walk in faithfulness to You. Help me to be faithful.

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