Home > Jeremiah Was a Dragon-Man > Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: We Are God’s Underpants

Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: We Are God’s Underpants

Thus says the Lord to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water.” So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it around my waist. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, “Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, “Thus says the Lord; Even so will I speak the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

Jeremiah 13:1-11

Sin brings shame. Israel’s sin is shameful. God’s judgment and exile of Israel and Judah to a foreign land is not God bringing shame upon Israel as a weak and conquered people, but God revealing and putting on display the shame of sin the people of God have already brought upon themselves. Jeremiah again makes this clear in chapter 13.

And if you say in your heart, “Why have these things come upon me?” it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up and you suffer violence (22).

I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen (26).

The image of a skirt being lifted up conveys exposure of shame.* God will not let Israel continue to conceal the shameful way they have been treating YHWH and others.

But Israel is not the only one who will be naked and ashamed. As we read above, Israel has exposed YHWH’s nakedness, and He has been shamed in the same way as His people. YHWH has clothed Himself with His people, covering up his most vulnerable parts with them. He chose Israel for His glory, that by His blessing of them, freeing them from slavery, and setting them up as a sovereign nation in a fertile land, He would be glorified by their worship of the God who gave them the freedom and provision they could not obtain on their own. If by this blessing and worship YHWH was glorified by His people, then by the coming judgment and Israel’s disdain of YHWH He is brought to shame by His people.

Over and over again God shows His humility by His willingness to put faith in us, to give us power and responsibility over Creation, and to create humanity with the capacity to bring YHWH shame and dishonor. He didn’t have to create us with the capacity to shame Him, but because He loves us, He enters into relationship with us, and in so doing, leaves Himself vulnerable to our rejection of Him. Israel was a people specially set apart to be blessed by YHWH and glorify YHWH. When the special receivers of God’s blessing respond to that blessing with rejection, God is stripped naked, in His humility experiencing the shame of their rejection.

We, as God’s people, special receivers of His blessing, specially picked out through Jesus’ blood to represent God on earth, are also given the responsibility to bring God glory and with it the power to bring God shame. We are God’s underwear. He gave his life to be in relationship with us, we expose his nakedness when we reject relationship with Him. He made us in His image that we might show the world what God looks like, when we live in a way that disfigures His image in us and dishonors it in others, we shame Him by stripping Him of the clothing which accents His beauty. Will we show God’s honor, love, and beauty to the world or embarrass Him with rejection and gross misrepresentations?

* The images here are very similar to those of the first sin of man. Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned against God, their primary concern was to cover their nakedness and in so doing, hide their shame. God pressed into Adam and Eve, and though He clothed them, He wouldn’t let them pretend to hide from Him. God is revealing Israel not that they would be forever naked and ashamed, but that they would no longer be able to try to hide behind their skirts of Temple ritual and sacrifice.

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