“Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, ‘Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.'” — Jeremiah 38:10
Rescuing the Perishing
When athletes, coaches and spectators put forth our best efforts, we expect to move up higher and be rewarded with more wins and higher salaries. Sometimes, however, we sink lower and lower through circumstances beyond our control. If we feel like we are sinking down in a sinkhole and can’t dig our way out of the deep hole of debt or depression, then it’s important to think about others who faced such trouble and were rescued by unexpected friends.
Though God told Jeremiah it wouldn’t be easy to be a prophet, he had no idea how much people would push back against him when he shared God’s message. After the people received unwanted correction for their wrongdoing, they lowered Jeremiah into a deep pit where he would likely die of starvation. “So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud” (Jeremiah 38:6).
Though it seemed all hope was lost in that low place, God sent Ebed-Melech, the Ethiopian, to rescue him. As soon as Ebed-Melech heard Jeremiah’s life was in danger, he spoke up for the man of God and the king agreed to lift the prophet up to solid ground. “Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, ‘Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies'” (Jeremiah 38:10).
In this world, we have opportunities to lift people up out of despair and discouragement by giving them a kind word. It is good to give others a boost with hope from Heaven. The Apostle Paul didn’t work on his resume after Jesus came into his life. Instead, he worked on building up (edifying) others in every way and he urged us to do the same. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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