Sunday, October 28, 2018

Jeremiah 38

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 38. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Jeremiah’s prophecies of death and destruction for those who did not surrender to the Babylonians angered the officials of King Zedekiah who demanded Jeremiah’s death for being a traitor. The King agreed and allowed the officials to take Jeremiah and put him in the bottom of a cistern to die. A cistern was a large hole in the ground lined with rocks to collect rainwater. The bottom of the cistern was dark, damp, and full of mud. Jeremiah could die of exposure or starve to death.
  • One official, an Ethiopian man named Ebed-melech disagreed with the decision and ran to King Zedekiah to stand up against the plan to kill Jeremiah. King Zedekiah gave Ebed-melech permission to rescue Jeremiah from the cistern and he was returned to the palace prison.
  • Later, King Zedekiah again questioned Jeremiah for prophecies from God. Jeremiah told the king he was afraid that he would be killed for speaking the truth. King Zedekiah secretly promised Jeremiah that he would be safe so Jeremiah shared again that the only way the king would survive was to surrender to the Babylonians. When King Zedekiah said he was afraid to surrender, Jeremiah told him surrender was the only way to spare his life and that failure to do so would result in betrayal by his friends and losing all of his family.
  • The king instructed Jeremiah to keep this conversation a secret from Zedekiah’s officials. Jeremiah obeyed and remained a prisoner in the palace until Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God does not guarantee that his servants will escape persecution, even when they are faithful. But God does promise that he will be with them and will give them strength to endure (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-7). One of the ways God brings comfort is by through the people he brings into your life. Ebed-melech risked his own life by standing up to his colleagues and refusal to go along with the murder plot. And because Ebed-melech obeyed God’s desire, in the next chapter we will see that he was spared when Jerusalem fall.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Today, can you be an “Ebed-melech” for someone else? It can be as simple as a smile to the cashier, letting the mom with three kids go ahead of you in the grocery line, or switching shifts with your co-worker so they can attend an event they’re excited about. It’s not always easy to go against the crowd. When someone is treated unkindly or unjustly in anyway, reach out to the person and give them some comfort. You may be the only person who does. And when you are being treated unkindly yourself, be sure to thank God when he sends an “Ebed-melech” your way.