Everyone might want to take a couple GIANT steps back from this one. You can tell by the title that it might be a dicey, dare I say blasphemous, post today.
It’s not the first time, and it probably won’t be the last time, that I am tempting God to smite me.
But it is the first (and may be the last) time that I use actual Scripture to make a joke. I’ll see how this goes over and we’ll decide about future posts from there.
Now, I feel I must preface this to ensure that I am not, in fact, bragging, gloating, or making myself seem all high, mighty, and pious. I am not.
I am working my way through the Bible. It’s actually a Bible broken up into 365 “chunks”, so it can (theoretically) be completed in one year.
This is the second time I have read through the Bible. The first time my “Bible-in-a-year” took me two years. I didn’t really care…I was pleased to have done it at all.
This is my second time through; I started in January. Don’t be too impressed. It was last January...as in January 2012. Long about last March/April, life got busy and my reading became very sporadic. And then in the summer, things fell apart (details are not necessary…and this coming from the Queen of Details).
Unfortunately, I put the Bible reading aside for the most part (I’m not proud of this…I’m just confessing it), and it wasn’t until September that I picked it up again. I am on track to finish by this September. So it is almost like it’s in a year plus a little bit extra.
Anyway…my point in all that rambling being this: I love it and highly recommend it to anyone who has never done it. The first time for me was set up so that each day was some Old Testament reading, some New Testament reading, as well as some Psalms and some Proverbs (and yes, I know that Psalms and Proverbs are Old Testament as well, but you understand what I mean; at least I hope you do.).
My current Bible-in-a-Year is set up chronologically. It’s only been in the last few years that I really figured out that it wasn’t written chronologically. I mean, with the Gospels it’s obvious, but I never paid enough attention to the Old Testament especially to “get” that.
But anyway…I L.O.V.E. the chronological Bible. It has been terribly helpful in helping me put all the pieces together in the order in which they happened.
All that being said, I am currently in the book of Jeremiah.
A couple days ago, the passages for the day began with Jeremiah 13. And I immediately began to laugh.
Now, if you are familiar with Jeremiah at all, you know that it’s not really something that one might find funny. It’s not funny at all.
Here is what I found so amusing:
Jeremiah 13: 1-11 A Linen Belt (NIV)
13 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 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 the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’
Ok, I’ll confess…that’s not funny. Not funny at all. But it’s the version I had always read.
The NIV…just like it was meant to be read in.
I know that’s not true….the King James is the original language, right?
Is this microphone on? Anyone laughing out there?
Trust me…it gets better. At least I hope it does.
So, moving on…maybe this is the version I read:
Jeremiah 13:1-11 People Who Do Only What They Want to Do (The Message)
13 1-2 God told me, “Go and buy yourself some linen shorts. Put them on and keep them on. Don’t even take them off to wash them.” So I bought the shorts as God directed and put them on.
3-5 Then God told me, “Take the shorts that you bought and go straight to Perath and hide them there in a crack in the rock.” So I did what God told me and hid them at Perath.
6-7 Next, after quite a long time, God told me, “Go back to Perath and get the linen shorts I told you to hide there.” So I went back to Perath and dug them out of the place where I had hidden them. The shorts by then had rotted and were worthless.
8-11 God explained, “This is the way I am going to ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem—a wicked bunch of people who won’t obey me, who do only what they want to do, who chase after all kinds of no-gods and worship them. They’re going to turn out as rotten as these old shorts. Just as shorts clothe and protect, so I kept the whole family of Israel under my care”—God’s Decree—“so that everyone could see they were my people, a people I could show off to the world and be proud of. But they refused to do a thing I said.
Well, still not funny. Ridiculous? Yes. Funny? No.
Linen shorts…the idea of it seems ludicrous, especially in the desert. You’ve got to dry clean and iron linen. Who wants that? I mean, I know God knows what he’s talking about, but frankly you’ll be a wrinkled mess by the time you get to where you’re going…
And don’t wash them? Haven’t we seen those reports on 20/20? Clearly this is before the days of bedbugs infiltrating clothing from overseas…I can’t imagine wearing something without washing it.
And yes, I realize there were all sorts of creepy-crawly things everywhere so washing it wasn’t necessarily going to take care of any bedbug infestation. The infestation had nothing to do with things coming from overseas.
So…another version perhaps?
Jeremiah 13: 1-11 (American Standard Version)
13 Thus saith Jehovah unto me, Go, and buy thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.
2 So I bought a girdle according to the word of Jehovah, and put it upon my loins.
3 And the word of Jehovah came unto me the second time, saying,
4 Take the girdle that thou hast bought, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.
5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as Jehovah commanded me.
6 And it came to pass after many days, that Jehovah said unto me, Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.
7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it; and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
8 Then the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
9 Thus saith Jehovah, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
10 This evil people, that refuse to hear my words, that walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and are gone after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is profitable for nothing.
11 For 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, saith Jehovah; that they may be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
Clearly there is nothing funny about wearing a girdle, so that must not be it. But I will pause and admit that when I was a touch heavier I wore a “body shaping garment” (otherwise known as a girdle) and when I was finished with it, I wanted to bury it…so that part really speaks to me.
But we are getting somewhere in the humor department…just the use of the word “loins” makes me giggle. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but it just does.
The word “tenderloin” does not make me giggle, however…it makes my mouth water. A nice big, flat, fried pork tenderloin (NOT the pork fritter like we used to get in school lunches…those were good…yes, I liked them, don’t judge), that is twice the size of the bun. Now that’s what I want for dinner…thank you so much, Jeremiah.
Sorry if that offends. I have already apologized to God and made my peace with Him about it.
Kind of. I am still chuckling a bit, so many I’m not over it.
And that’s still not the version that sent me into fits of laughter.
But this is it. I promise. This is the version I am using in my Bible-in-a-Year Bible. I’d (clearly) never read this version before and thought it might be a nice change.
I’m obviously enjoying it thus far.
Jeremiah 13:1-11 Linen Underwear (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it on, but do not put it in water.” 2 So I bought underwear as the Lord instructed me and put it on.
3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 “Take the underwear that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates and hide it in a rocky crevice.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.
6 A long time later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to the Euphrates and get the underwear that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the underwear and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined—of no use at all.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to Me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and worship—they will be like this underwear, of no use at all.11 Just as underwear clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to Me”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“so that they might be My people for My fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey.
As one might expect, of course when I read “underwear,” my brain translated that to “skivvies”.
I won’t make you re-read it and insert the word skivvies…I’ll do it for you. I’m a full-service blogger, if nothing else:
Jeremiah 13:1-11 Linen Underwear (Mrs. Always Random Somewhat Blasphemous Translation)
13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it on, but do not put it in water.” 2 So I bought a pair of skivvies as the Lord instructed me and put it on.
3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 “Take the skivvies that you bought and are wearing, and go at once to the Euphrates and hide it in a rocky crevice.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me.
6 A long time later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to the Euphrates and get the skivvies that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug up the skivvies and got it from the place where I had hidden it, but it was ruined—of no use at all.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “This is what the Lord says: Just like this I will ruin the great pride of both Judah and Jerusalem. 10 These evil people, who refuse to listen to Me, who follow the stubbornness of their own hearts, and who have followed other gods to serve and worship—they will be like this pair of skivvies, of no use at all.11 Just as skivvies clings to one’s waist, so I fastened the whole house of Israel and of Judah to Me”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“so that they might be My people for My fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey.
Seriously…I think I’ve been hanging out with the PBA WAY too much…