The Sarong – a devotion
- What is the most practical item you carry while enjoying your favorite activity?
- Describe the advantages and disadvantages of medium-weight, 100% cotton material.
- List the items you would carry in a survival kit the size of a small fanny pack.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.
The Story, by Don
The sarong. It’s standard apparel for men in many areas of the world, especially in the Pacific island nations. And there are many kinds of sarongs: work sarong, business sarong, formal sarong, and so on. My first one came from Indonesia, sent to me by a missionary friend. After discovering its many uses, I am convinced that every outdoorsman needs one.
I now have several sarongs: the real deal mentioned above, a heavier one, and a light ones made from camouflage material. They’re easy to make: Take a piece of cotton material about 48×84 inches and sew the ends together to make a cloth “tube.” The finished size doesn’t matter but don’t make it too large (unless you are large).
I’ve used my sarongs as a garment (after all, that is the major purpose so think bathrobe at a campground, or dressing down at home or camp), towel, ground cloth, tent rug, blanket, pack, pillow, blind (that is, the camo one as a hunting blind), potholder, tablecloth and tailgate cloth, head cover, and gun case. I’ve even brewed a cup of coffee with the corner of my sarong! I’ve yet to use it as a lean-to, water strainer, clothes line (for instance, attached to a backpack with wet clothes threaded on to dry while hiking), first aid or to flag for help (thank goodness), and as a weapon. Yes, a weapon. Some forms of martial arts specialize in using a sarong as a flexible weapon. In the hands of a trained person, it can bind, choke, club, lock, press, trap, and whip. Please don’t try this at home.
Yet of all the things my sarong will do, it won’t get me to heaven.
About Job. Here’s a man in emotional, physical, and spiritual agony. His friends were no help, as was not his wife. He lost everything including the clothes on his back. Up until now, he had clothed himself with, well, probably nothing. Earlier, he had torn his robe and perhaps even ripped it off of himself in anguish, declaring, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return!”
Then the second satanic affliction hit him. The boils on his skin were so severe that all he could do was scrape the wounds with a scrap piece of pottery. You can’t hardly do that with clothes on. Later, he sewed sackcloth together and covered himself the best he could. Still his bleeding wounds oozed, saturating the coarse material and dripping his blood onto the ground. He was a mess.
In all of his speaking and complaining, in all of his grieving and wailing, in all of his darkening of counsel and contending with the Lord, Job remained faithful to the Heavenly Father. I don’t know how he did it. But even Job reminded himself of the righteousness and justice that clothed him once, and clothed him still. Thank God for His infinite bigness.
Let me be frank. God does not place His righteousness on a dirty, unclean soul. A man must first have his sins washed away by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5). Only then can righteousness and justice be worn, suitable garments for a child of the King.
In Job’s case, he tried to the best of his ability to be faithful to God. His was a just faith that was accounted as righteousness. He was the patriarch who, wishing his children behaved better, offered sacrifices for their sins. He was the believing husband who, over the disgraceful whims of his wife, declared God’s grace is best, no matter what. He was the friend who sought comfort from other men yet saw them hold back, stand away, sit down, and not even offer to put their hands on his shoulder, cry with him, and just keep their mouths shut. He was the faithful man who knew that God would not bully him but instead would be fair to him: Would He contend with me in His great power? No! But He would take note of me (Job 23:6).
And he made it to heaven, fully clothed in a garment of righteousness and justice. This is the spiritual sarong every man wears when he walks with Jesus. If you’re not clothed this way, no piece of pottery, no burlap tunic, no ceremonial ash pile, or oozing wound or antagonistic wife or camo sarong is going to prepare you for your postmortem experience.
Nothing will, save the blood of Jesus.
- In a Biblical way, describe justice.
- In a Biblical way, describe righteousness.
- How do you clothe yourself emotionally? Physically? Socially? Spiritually?
Personally meditate on these key words, or discuss these with your friends or small group. What does the Bible say about each one? Determine how you will interact with these subjects this week: