This is what the LORD said to me: "Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not wash it."
So I bought the belt as the LORD directed me and put it around my waist.
Then the LORD gave me another message:
"Take the linen belt you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River. a Hide it there in a hole in the rocks."
So I went and hid it at the Euphrates as the LORD had instructed me.
A long time afterward, the LORD said to me, "Go back to the Euphrates and get the linen belt that I told you to hide there."
So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was mildewed and falling apart. The belt was useless.
Then I received this message from the LORD:
"The LORD says: This illustrates how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem.
These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship idols. Therefore, they will become like this linen belt -- good for nothing!
As a belt clings to a person's waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me," says the LORD. "They were to be my people, my pride, my glory -- an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)