Pastor's Column 10/23/22
“Ebed-melech called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags under your armpits to protect you from the ropes.” Then when Jeremiah was ready, they pulled him out…” Jeremiah 38:12-13a, NLT
“A Helping Hand Up!
Sometimes during the most complex of situations, we never know where our help will come from. Regardless of our circumstances, God will provide us with assistance at the appointed time. The situation for the prophet Jeremiah was very dire. He was incarcerated for merely speaking the truth. His message was unnerving to a king, who thought he could induce the prophet to say what pleased him. In the wake of a national and moral crisis, Jeremiah spoke a “bold” truth; and King Zedekiah felt tremors beneath his feet. It is tempting for any of us to cower down in the face of criticism or threats. However, to follow the path of truth at all costs, is preferable to looking for the convenient way out. To paraphrase the poet, James Russell Lowell, “Once to every… person comes the moment to decide.” Daily, people give in to the weaker side of themselves; rather than engage in life’s trials with an expectant faith. Jeremiah was warned incessantly not to speak the truth, but to do less would have compromised his faith and loyalty to God. Not content in giving up, Jeremiah paid the price. He was taken out of the courtyard of the king where prisoners were held, and placed in a deep and hollow water cistern. This was a death sentence; for he would have died from hunger and thirst. God always has a plan, however. Ebed-melech, an African who was not from Judah, organized a group of thirty men. He was determined to rescue Jeremiah from the dreaded pit. The appearance of this strong and intelligent man, shocked King Zedekiah, who did not put up any resistance. The helping hand of a stranger, saved the prophet’s life. We never know where every helping hand will meet us in life; but we do know the source of all help! (Cf. Ps. 121:1, NKJV. God determines the time, place, and event for our turnaround. He often comes in the form of those whom He sends! He’s on time!
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