The Clothes Make The Man

Featuring Branon Dempsey Posted on September 26, 2008

Have you ever felt used, thrown away and left in the dirt? Maybe, it’s the other way around when you were given someone or something. We used it and removed it, never to be touched again.  Soon we try on another new set of clothes hoping it will change our identities. Tragically, we resort to be unsatisfied again as we further distance ourselves from the care of Christ. This is exactly what happened between the house of Israel and God. Take a listen to this passage in Jeremiah 13:

 1 This is what the LORD said to me: "Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water." 2 So I bought a belt, as the LORD directed, and put it around my waist.

 3 Then the word of the LORD came to me a second time: 4 "Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath [a] and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks." 5 So I went and hid it at Perath, as the LORD told me.

 6 Many days later the LORD said to me, "Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there." 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 "This is what the LORD says: 'In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless! 11 For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,' declares the LORD, 'to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.'

It is amazing to see how God has blessed us throughout history. From the early exile of Israel to present day, God in His mercy, surrounds his people and gives them peace, provision and restoration. He clothes us in his righteousness and girds us with the belt of truth. Then we turn away and remove our clothes of mercy and trade them in for stinky rags.

In reflection of my life, there have been countless times where I have destroyed either someone or something God has given me. Only to betray my conciseness, I leverage every attempt to avoid my weaknesses and frailty in the name of pride. There have been events, pain as well as blessings, relationships and opportunities that I have stuffed in the dirt. As God clothes us in his mercy and grace, everything about who we are stands under His canopy, ransomed by the blood of Christ. He hugs us in his wrapping of compassion, forgiveness and tenderly kindness only to pull us out of the dirt and into His marvelous light. In the clothing of God, He makes us to be who we really are as the workmanship of Christ.

How great a God you are Triune and Majestic God. You are the Alpha, Omega, Creator and Author of our faith and lives. O’ Father of Justice and Prince of Peace restore our senses that we may return to you as dirty as we were, only to be cleansed and purified by the waters of your Holy Spirit. Breathe within our souls O Giver of Life, so that our every pulse of vitality returns to you not in void but in fruitful praise. Help us to dust off blessings and people you have given us to be restored to the purposes of Your will. We know, hope and pray for your Return when you will make all things right in bringing the cosmos together in the consummation of Christ, restoring mankind in the way you originally invented. As we live the rest of our days here on earth, may we make the most of every opportunity for the praise of Your glory. Amen.

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