[From Oct. 15, 2015]
"Thus says the LORD: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem."
What an interesting "object lesson" God gives Jeremiah. He's told to buy a loincloth, wear it, then hide it (bury it) in the rocks by the Euphrates. Then many days later, God calls him to go back and get it... and of course, it's ruined. "For as the loincloth clings to one's loins," says God, "So I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to me... but they would not listen." (v.11)
The role of a loin cloth is to cover one's privates. It's all about modesty, decorum, civility. Think of it as the ancient equivalent of a good pair of boxer shorts. But if your boxers don't cling to your legs... if they flap open & "leave nothing to the imagination," then they're practically useless.
We were made to 'cling' to God... not 'do our own thing' and 'flap this way or that.' It's pride that gets in our way. We want to do what we want to do - and it often runs counter to 'clinging to God.' So, like a loincloth left out int he elements, this will eventually lead to our own ruin.
Self-confidence is one of my strengths. But I need to be careful it doesn't bleed into pride, thinking I can lead my church on my own strength, apart from God. That kind of pride can lead to ineffective ministry and ruin. I want to be solid pair of boxer shorts for Jesus!