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Pastor Zach Terry is driven by a desire help people achieve their maximum life through Jesus Christ. He is known for his ability to teach complex ideas in simple terms with practical implications for daily life.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary selected him as the recipient of the Westminster John Knox Press Award for excellence in preaching and teaching the Christian scriptures. In 2016 he was honored as one of the Connect Faith’s, “Agents of Change“.


Jun 4, 2018

INTRODUCTION: In 2002 George W. Bush began to focus his sights on Iraq as the central point on what he called the, “Axis of Evil”. 


177,194 troops were sent by the Coalition into Iraq. 


  • On the early morning of March 19, 2003, U.S. forces began strikes against 55 top Iraqi officials
  • Next, Airstrikes destroyed more than 70 sites, effectively depriving the Iraqi military of any early warning of the coming invasion. 
  • The invasion was swift, leading to the collapse of the Iraqi government in about three weeks.  
  • On Dec. 13, 2003 - Saddam Hussein, once the all-powerful leader of Iraq, is arrested by American soldiers. 
  • Saturday, 30 December 2006 he was executed. 


Judgement had fallen on Saddam Hussein at the hand of the President Bush and the Coalition forces. 


But just a couple of months President Bush was dealing with a different kind of Judgement. His two twin daughters Jenna and Barbara were cited in the state TX for attempting to buy alcohol on a fake ID.

George W. Bush was in the position as Judge both of his daughters whom he loved and Saddam Hussain who he despised. Do you think he treated them differently? Yes! He didn’t declare a shock and awe campaign against his girls. 


In the same way, Jesus judges the world, Jesus judges the church - but He judges them VERY differently.


Perhaps the most vivid picture of that type of Judgement is found in Jer. 13.


CONTEXT: Jeremiah, often called the “weeping prophet” because he was tasked with pronouncing the discipline of God over the people of God. 


In chapter 13 he is showing God’s motive behind the impending EXILE that is soon to come upon Judah. In this chapter he does so with one of the most vivid word pictures in all the bible. 


TEXT: Jeremiah 13:1–11 (ESV)

1 Thus says the Lord to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water.”


Loincloth - The loincloth was the first piece of garment a man would wear. It was:

  1. Intimate - It was touching the skin of the man. 
  2. Tight - Other garments would be tucked into the loincloth to keep them together. When men would go to battle they were told to gird their loins, that is tuck in your long flowing robe so that they are battle ready. 
  3. Expensive - It was made of linen. This was not a typical attire of the prophet. This was a priestly garment. Often these garments would be dyed purple or red. It would really stand out, outside of the priestly area of the temple.

    Think of it like wearing a bright red tie with shorts and a t-shirt.
  4. Protected - He was told not to put it in water. Water would cause the tightness of the garment to give and possibly shrink. But this garment was kept out of water and protected. 
  5. Useful - Jeremiah wasn’t simply to buy the garment, he was to use it immediately, put it into service of the prophet. 


 2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it around my waist. 3 And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, 4 “Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” 


The word for “hide it there” is a Hebrew phrase that meant - go to a nearly inaccessible location to bury it.

Now the Euphrates river has tides produced by the Persian Gulf, much like our Amelia River has tides produced by the Atlantic Ocean. Jeremiah was told to hide the linen loincloth and hide it in the cleft of a rock.


Imagine if you will, going down to one of the Jetty’s at low tide, taking this expensive garment that you have carefully protected, worn regularly tightly against your body, and then burying it in between a couple of rocks. 


5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. 6 And after many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” 


So imagine if you will, day after day, tide after tide, the silt and sand covered this cloth. The sun had beat down on this cloth. It began to waste, rot, ruin. 


7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing. 


Imagine the prophet taking what was once a very beautiful garment and cinching it tight and it literally falling apart.


8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “Thus says the Lord: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.


God says, I will personally Judge them are spoil their pride. 


This is referring to the soon coming exile of God’s people that would serve to RUIN their pride, but then ultimately to STIR their faith. 


There is a story in 2 Samuel 14:28–32 (ESV) Absalom was the son of King David. He desired an audience with his Father David. So he sent for Joab the commander of the King’s army who had been an emissary between David and Absalom.


28 So Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, without coming into the king’s presence. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but Joab would not come to him. And he sent a second time, but Joab would not come. 30 Then he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31 Then Joab arose and went to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent word to you, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king’


There are times when God send WORD to us and we do not listen, at that point He at times turns His attention to our barley fields. 


You say well that was wicked Absalom, God wouldn’t do that… oh yes he would my friend.


Malachi 2:2–3 (ESV)

2 If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.


Joseph tells us that what Satan meant for evil, God can turn for good. But also

God meant for GOOD, God can turn for bad.


  • Job - I’ve seen men get a job, but then they give their life to work and God curses the blessing. 
  • Toy - God can take a toy you’ve worked years for then curse it and make you regret ever buying it.
  • Relationship - Sometimes people can put a relationship in front of God. 


ILLUSTRATION: Courtney Carpenter - Amazing talent as an athlete until by her own admission she put sports ahead of Christ. She had a horrible car accident and was paralyzed from her waste down. 


Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 

What is it going to take for God to get your attention?

Will He have to ruin your business?

Will He have to ruin your health?

Will He have to ruin the health of someone you love?

You say God wouldn’t do that!

He did it to David by taking the life of his child.

He did it to the son’s of Jacob by sending a famine on the land.

He did it to Nebuchadnezzar by taking his sanity.

He did it to Jonah by taking his boat.

Do you think He will treat you any differently?


Listen - you know how we have parent child dedications - you need to dedicate everything in your life to the Lord. If it takes you away from Him, it’s got to go. 


 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 


11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.


ILLUSTRATION: Evangelist Jay Strack was at one time the fill in preacher for Billy Graham. If Graham got sick, Strack would be called to fill the pulpit, often times seeing greater harvest than Graham himself. Well it was in the early 80’s when Jay Strack we preaching this sort of event for the Graham team and he had to make a sudden trip to TX. Unexpectedly, the night of the crusade Jay Strack’s wife went into labor. Word came from the hospital that it had been a very difficult delivery. 


He hurried to the hospital as soon as he was able. The Doctor met him there and explained that both mother and the baby daughter had survived, but there were complications with the Daughter. “What complications”, Strack asked. Well there were some problems with her development that resulted in-

  • Almost complete loss of hearing- she had to wear hearing aids
  • Scoliosis she had to wear a back brace
  • Eye problems- Glasses and a patch
  • One short leg- Shoe


Things were fine for the first few years, but then around 7th grade things changed. It was the age when boy notice girls and girls notice boys. It was also the year one of the big STAR WARS movies came out. Some kid looks at her and said, “look it’s Darth Vader”. She was devastated. She called home to have her mother come pick her up and said she never wanted to go to school again. Mom said wait till dad gets home. 


When dad arrived home he sat and wept with her for the longest. Then he held her and hugged her like only a dad can. He said, “you really hate all this stuff don’t you” Yes she said. He said, you know what? I HATE it too. She said no you don’t daddy or you wouldn’t make me wear it. 


Jay then took all of the stuff off of her and through it on the floor. He began to stomp it and destroy it. She was so excited. 


Then he went again and picked her up and said, “baby, I love you just the way you are…. And I always will… but the Dr. Tells us that if you wear that back brace that one day you can stand up straight and walk down the aisle to get married. And if you wear those glasses that one day you will be able to see with 20/20 vision and fly an airplane if you want. So here is what we are going to do - we are going to get you a more stream lined back braces, we will get ear implants that fit down in your ears, we will see about contact lenses for you eyes.