An article in the Country Today weekly Ag newspaper featured Juneau County, Wisconsin conservationists and UW-Extension agents planting 100% cotton underwear in 10 locations to learn about soil health. Healthy soil, filled with “swarming creatures,” should break down the underwear more quickly than unhealthy soil. The underwear will be on display in August at the Juneau Co. Fair.
Turns out the folks in Juneau County, were not the first to think of the idea. In Jerusalem, around 600 BC God told the prophet Jeremiah to buy a loin cloth (underwear), wear it for a time, but not to wash it. Then he was to go to the Euphrates River, a journey of over 700 miles round trip, and hide the loin cloth between two rocks. Eventually, God told him to go back and dig up the under garment. It was spoiled and good for nothing. (Jeremiah 13:1-11)
The rotten loin cloth was not to measure soil health, but the spiritual health of God’s chosen people. The rotten loin cloth was like Judah. God had bound Israel to himself as his own people, but they had refused to listen, gone their own way and worshiped other gods. They refused to serve as God’s banner in the world, so that other peoples would praise and honor God.
We may not appreciate being compared to God’s underwear, but in Christ, God has bound us to himself to be his humble people that the world might see us and give praise and honor to God.