Jeremiah 38

Jeremiah 38 has things getting rather intense for the prophet.  He is under attack, and a host of people want to shut him up.  They don’t want truth, they want him to say positive and good things.  “Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking  the welfare of this people, but their harm.”  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth as Jeremiah has always just told it like God told him.  But it wasn’t the politically correct message.

So they convinced King Zedekiah to shut him up and “they took Jeremiah  and cast him into the cistern….there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and  Jeremiah sank in the mud”.  The intent wasn’t to kill him, just shut him up.  But the reality was that in this place, his days were numberd.  So Ebed-melech the Ethiopian eunuch who was in the king’s house goes to the king and says “these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of  hunger, for there is no bread left in the city”.  God brings an intercessor to take care of his prophet.

King Zedekiah listens and tells Ebed-melech to go rescue Jeremiah and “they drew Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the cistern”.  The king then asks for a meeting and wants to hear the truth.  Jeremiah is a bit suspect of the motive and outcome, but is finally convinced to tell it like it was.  “If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live”.  Tough message, but the king receives it well and then gets the real truth.  “Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you,  and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared”.

God’s message is almost always the same.  It all comes down to obedience.  That was the price Zedekiah would have to pay to have his life spared.  Before he could do that, he needed to hear God’s message.  It begins with us understanding what God’s plan is for our life.  Then it comes down to choices.  Jeremiah did what he always did – he remained true to God’s mission for him to speak truth.  The king took care of him after this and “Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken”.  Quite a change from what the people intended for him.  God is faithful.  We merely have to put our trust in Him!

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