Jer. 13:11

Robert Hawker

"As the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, with the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory."–Jer. xiii. 11.

See, my soul, the blessedness of witnessing to God, and witnessing for God. His people, the Lord saith, are called, and are, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, as lights in the world. Both Israel and Judah are included in what is here said; and by the figure of a girdle cleaving to the loins of a man, so close, so strongly bound, and extending all around, is shewn the nearness, and firmness, and the security in every way, and by every direction, in which the Lord's people are brought into relation with him. Such, then, were the Lord's people of old, a people near to himself; and as they were the Lord's own choice, so were they dear to the Lord; and as he had made the whole Of the nation a kingdom of priests to the Lord, so were they wholly designed for the divine glory: "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise." Now pause, my soul, over this blessed scripture, and contemplate with what holy rapture and delight a child of God, under the new testament dispensation, may look up and behold his nearness and dearness to God in Christ, by virtue of his union with Jesus. Here the figure, beautiful as it is, of a girdle encircling the loins, doth not come up to the full idea of that oneness and union which the believer stands in with Jesus. For the soul not only is made by the Lord himself to cleave unto Christ, as the ivy clings to the oak; but being part of Christ's mystical body, is, like the branch in the vine, one with Christ, and Christ with him. The believer in Jesus is interested in all that is in Jesus; and not only cleaves to him, but is part of himself, and is blessed in his blessedness, and beheld and accepted, and loved by God the Father, as the Father loveth Jesus. And think; my soul, what unspeakable felicity ariseth out of this one consideration, that, amidst all thy coldness, and wanderings, and departures, still the Lord causeth his Judah and Israel to cleave to him. However the poor senseless child in arms lets go his holdfast, when hanging round the neck of its nurse and protector, yet the little creature falls not, because he is upheld by his support from her. So the one only cause that thou art supported and preserved from falling is, because "the eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." It is the Lord that saith, "I have caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah." And Oh! what a name, and a praise, and a glory, will be the whole redeemed church of God in Christ, when Jesus brings them all home, and presents them to himself and Father, as "a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish before him in love!"


Robert Hawker

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