Yirmiyahu Thirteen: Experiential Education

God sends Jeremiah on what seems like an extended goose chase, or lesson in experiential learning. First, He has him buy a girdle and put it on, while keeping it dry. Then, Jeremiah is instructed to go and hide it in a certain rock, and does so. After a certain amount of time passes, Jeremiah is sent to retrieve the girdle, and it was rotten and ruined. This story is odd enough so far, but then God uses it as a metaphor for the pending destruction of Jerusalem and Israel. “For, just as the girdle clings to a man’s loins, so have I caused the entire house of Israel and the entire house of Judah to cling to Me, says the Lord, to be My people, and for a name and for praise and for glory, but they did not hearken (Jeremiah 13:11).” I realize that I’m a huge geek and this probably isn’t part of the intent of this interlude at all, but it really seems to me like an experiential education lesson plna. Instead of just repeatedly telling Jeremiah about why the people deserve punishment and what’s going to happen to them, God gives Jeremiah a task that allows him to see in a minor way the hands-on nature of the issue, and the outcome. Jeremiah is the student in this situation, and he has to internalize his lessons.

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