Linen is a cool and comfortable fabric to wear. It is made from the fibers of the flax plant. This is a labor-intensive process. The first step is to gently harvest the flax so that the long fibers will not be broken. You see the longer the fibers the softer the fabric, while the short fibers make a more course material. Next, the harvested plants had to go through a drying period. This is why Rahab had enough flax on her roof to hide the spies, she was drying it to prepare for the next step. Threshing and winnowing came next causing the fibers to separate and the seeds to fall out. After this was hours of combing through the fibers, removing the short fibers and leaving the long soft fibers. These long fibers are what got spun into thread and yarn to make the cloth. One special aspect about linen, although it is strong and durable cloth when it gets it becomes stronger. On the other hand, sharp folds in the fabric break the fibers in the fabric.
This helps us to understand the lesson that God is trying to get across in Jeremiah 13:1-11. As Jeremiah wore the belt around his waist it was useful and had a purpose. The fabric was soft and colorful. He was instructed by God not to get it wet. Then He told to take it and hide it in the crevice of the rock. Some versions say that Jeremiah was to go to the Euphrates River while some say Perath. When you look at the map the Euphrates runs through Turkey, Northern Syria, and Iraq. While just outside of Jerusalem is Perath Spring which is a rocky mountainous area with plenty of crevices. Since Jeremiah was called to witness to Jerusalem, I don’t see God sending him on a long and dangerous trip twice. I lean to Perath Spring outside of Jerusalem as to where he hid the belt. Now a crevice is a narrow crack in the side of a rock formation so Jeremiah would have to fold it up tight to fit in it. So what we learned about sharp folds in linen is that it breaks the bonds in the material. This belt had not been strengthened by becoming wet. It is made from plant fibers which insects would probably eat on. Is it no wonder when Jeremiah returned to retrieve it after a period of time it would be destroyed.
God had set apart the Children of Israel to be a people to serve and His heritage. Because of their stubbornness, they chose to follow the desires of their heart and worship idols. They have become spoiled for His use and refused to repent for it.
May we not let a stuborn and rebellious heart keep us from being who He has created us to be.
(Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash)