Girdles

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WE have no mention of these girdles as subsequently made in Ex. 39 But Moses is directed to gird Aaron and his sons with girdles. Ex. 29:99And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons. (Exodus 29:9). And he does so as related in Lev. 8:1313And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the Lord commanded Moses. (Leviticus 8:13). We have allusions in the New Testament to the girdle, both as a portion of the believer's armor, and as a part of his ordinary garments.
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God." Eph. 6:13-1713Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:13‑17).
This Epistle which begins with the perfect rest, and blessing of believers in Christ, (" blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" "raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." i. 3, ii. 6.) closes with a description of the most severe struggle and conflict, to which we are continually exposed. It tells us we are seated, and afterward bids us " stand." It assures us of an inheritance obtained in Christ, but exhorts us to wrestle against enemies usurping possession of the place of our inheritance. It extends the sphere of conflict from the world to the highest heavens; and whilst telling us of the exceeding greatness of God's power towards us, and in us, according to the working of the might of His power which he wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, at the same time encourages us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. This is ever the order of the Epistles. Our full blessings with all their stability and irreversible security in Christ are first declared; and then follow exhortations to realize and use them, and to live in the power of them. God ever declares the victory won before He sends us into the conflict. We must by faith realize our perfect rest and peace and security, before we attempt to stand in conflict with the foe. We fight from rest and victory, instead of for them.
In this Scripture we are told to put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; to wrestle against the vast principalities and powers of wicked spirits, rulers of the darkness of this world; and to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. A wonderful combination of evil spirits with deceits, dark delusions, and fiery weapons arrayed against us. Little do we comprehend the vastness of the struggle, and alas! slow are we often to perceive the snares and guileful devices laid for us. We need to take unto us, and to put on the whole armor of God, that we may " withstand " and " stand." Twice we are exhorted to " stand," for we have no ground to gain; we have only to hold our own. God has raised us up in Christ to the loftiest height of glory—we cannot attain a higher place, for there is none. All we have to do is to maintain our footing firm in the super-heavenly places. The armor for offense and defense has been provided by God, and the strength alone is His.
It is to be observed that the Girdle is mentioned first. Girded about, as to your loins with truth."
And the sword is mentioned last; "the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God." The girdle and sword must be closely connected together, and all the rest of the armor seems, as it were, to be included within these two pieces. Truth is unchangeable, eternal; it can never alter or vary with time or circumstances. It is fixed like the everlasting hills. It is the word of God. It is Christ. The whole strength of the warrior to stand and wrestle depends upon the close fitting of this firm girdle. If his loins be weak, and not knit firmly by this sinew of strength, Satan will soon cast him down from his excellency, and he would then cease to stand in his high calling, and would probably sink into some darkness of the world's delusions: ensnared either by its vanities and glittering honors, or its learned speculations of so called wisdom. Truth, that is, the word of God, all that centers in Christ and proceeds from Him, is our only support and our only weapon; our girdle and our sword.
The Girdle is also an important part of the ordinary garments of the believer, as a priest and servant.
In Luke 12:35,3635Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (Luke 12:35‑36), the Lord exhorts His disciples to be ready for His return. " Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord."
They are to have the true attitude of expectancy, which can only be maintained by constant activity in service, and letting the light of truth shine out. The hope of the Lord's return will not really abide in the heart, unless we keep our loins girded as engaged in our Master's work, and let our light shine out before men. An inactive believer is sure to become a worldly minded one, and he will begin to eat and drink with the drunken. He will have companionship with the men of the world, whose intoxicating pursuits of avarice, ambition, and pleasure, deaden their hearts and consciences to all the truth of God. "Occupy till I come," is another precept of Jesus of the same kind, as " let your loins be girded." The light also must not be hidden. The bed and the bushel are two snares to the believer. Men indeed do not put the candle under either; for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. Indolence and supineness, of which the bed is an emblem, enervate many of those who ought to let their light shine brightly; whilst the active and engrossing pursuits of life, legitimate in their way, trade and commerce, of which the bushel is a " resemblance." Zech. 5:66And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. (Zechariah 5:6), alas! too often bury out of sight the manifestation of the life and light of the believer.
We find another exhortation 1 Peter i. 13, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace which is to be brought unto you at tie revelation of Jesus Christ." Here believers are especially addressed as strangers and pilgrims on their journey through a foreign country into their own land, where an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away is reserved for them.
Two subjects of an all engrossing nature are presented to them. Subjects which the very prophets who spoke of them understood not, though they inquired and searched diligently, and which the angels of glory desire to look into: " the sufferings of Christ, and the glories after these." If we would press on as strangers and pilgrims, we must gird up the loins of our mind, to the constant contemplation of the great Salvation, which comprises these two subjects.
A man who allows his garments to be loose, and who girds not up his loins, will make but little progress on his journey. We must therefore gather in our loose floating thoughts and wandering imaginations, and learn to fix more continually our minds and understandings upon the death, resurrection, and coming of Jesus, and the great truths connected therewith, if we would pursue our path with less distraction. The girded priest and pilgrim must also be sober. The Lord gave a precept to Aaron and his sons, not to drink wine or strong drink when officiating in the Tabernacle. Lev. 10:99Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: (Leviticus 10:9). The pilgrim also will walk unsteadily if he indulge himself in intoxicating drafts. We live in a world especially given up at the present time to drunkenness of all kinds. Men are hurrying on their projects with a determination of purpose, an eagerness of mind which prove that they have drunk largely of Babylon's golden cup of abominations. What with science, commerce, exhibitions, politics, wars, commotions, men have no time for considerations respecting eternity. The god of this world has filled up with consummate skill every moment of human existence; and all hurry with railroad velocity, along the broad road that leads to destruction. In the midst of this scene the girded servant of the Lord must be sober, and hope on to the end, assuredly knowing that grace will be brought to him, (even the glory itself, for glory is grace,) at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:1313Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13). The revelation of that hidden One whom the world has rejected, and of whom it is willingly ignorant.
In the Revelation, the Son of Man, as seen in visions by John, was "girt about the paps with a golden girdle." The object of this girdle seems not to have been to strengthen Him who wore it for priestly service of judgment, but rather to bind the robe of blue-the robe of heavenly love and peace firmly around His heart, so that in the midst of searching words of reproof and warning, mercies might be poured forth from breasts of consolations.
In Rev. 15:66And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. (Revelation 15:6), the seven angels having the seven plagues, are seen coming out of the temple clothed in pure and white linen, their breasts girded with golden girdles.
Here again the girdle is not upon the loins, the emblem probably being, that the heart of the angels to whom the vials of wrath were entrusted, needed to be strengthened for their terrible work of judgment. The fine linen, expressive of righteousness was therefore firmly girt with gold around their breasts.