Jeremiah 13 opens with a real-life illustration. In these Bible verses, God told the prophet to put on a girdle. During an unspecified time, he was to wears it without allowing it to get wet. Later, God told Jeremiah to take the girdle off and them place it under a rock in the Euphrates River.
The meaning of the girdle
We should study the Bible rather than speculate on the meaning of this role-play. We look to the King James scriptures for the truth in the Word:
Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. (Jeremiah 13:10-11)
A study in the Bible does not say how long Jeremiah wore the girdle. However, he probably wore it long enough for it to get nasty from never being washed. Jeremiah likely grew increasingly uncomfortable with the girdle and was likely glad when God took it off. This picture shows how God grew increasingly weary with His people until finally, He cast them away. As shown in this study of the Bible, they would go into captivity (as signified by the hole and the rock) where their pride would be marred and where they would hopefully learn to rely on God for their value.
A sign of hope
Hath God cast away his people? (Romans 11:1)
Although the girdle was useless, it still was retrieved. God did not abandon His people forever. They one day would be reclaimed and – though marred – would once again abide with Him in their own land.
If you remain close to God and nothing has happened to mar you, thank God and then keep yourself clean. As shown in these Bible verses, Israel would not cleanse itself. Recognize your need to constantly receive cleansing from God so that He never removes you and sends you to have your pride removed.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word… (Ephesians 5:26)
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
God does not like pride and He does not like sin. When His people weary Him, the time comes when He removes them from His presence. If your sin and stubbornness caused God to remove you, learn your lesson: repent. If you do, the time will come when He takes you to Himself again. Even when you look and feel useless, God has a plan for you.