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Jeremiah 38
Rescued from a muddy pit

Scripture Reading: Psalm 40:

For the past 8 weeks we have been marching our way through the book of Jeremiah.

As I have been reading the Book of Jeremiah I have taken special note a couple of things:

1. The incredible faithfulness of Jeremiah. The persistence of Jeremiah. The steadfast of Jeremiah. The courage of Jeremiah. The commitment of Jeremiah.
2. The surety of the Word of God. Everything that God said He would do, He did
3. The stubbornness of the people whom God sent Jeremiah to
4. The incredible mercy of God.

Today we are going to take a look at Jeremiah 38:1-13. In this passage Jeremiah gets himself thrown into a muddy pit and left to die. YET: God saves Him-- let's learn how

Before reading note why Jeremiah ended up in the pit

One of the messages that God had Jeremiah speak was this: If you want to live you had better leave the city and turn yourselves over to the Babylonians. This message came with a double promise: Surrender and you will live and one day God will restore you. Resist and you will die and the city will be burned to the ground and the walls torn down.

This message (interpreted as being treasonous) ticked a lot of people off- so much so, that some people- powerful people- wanted Jeremiah dead.

READ TEXT

LESSONS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE TEXT

1. God always keeps His promises

In Jeremiah 1:17-19 God says to Jeremiah "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land-against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD."

Note the promise of v.19. Here in this passage God keeps His word by raising up a man named Ebed Melech who proceeded to intervene on Jeremiah's behalf.

God always keeps His Word. His Word is true. Trust the LORD.

2. Our God saves!

1. Physically- He knows how to rescue godly people from trials (Note the words of 2 Peter 2:9 (READ)
2. Spiritually-- In and through Christ He saves people from the judgment to come

1. God knows how to rescue godly people from trials: The physical salvation of Jeremiah from a cruel death v.7-13

Jeremiah roughly deposited into a cistern and left to die in the mud - for speaking the word of the Lord and encouraging the people (if they wanted to live) to surrender to the Babylonians

God raised up a man named Ebed Melech

-brave, compassionate and tender (rags to cushion Jeremiah)
-God fearing, concerned about right and wrong before God
-a special meaning to his name "Servant of the King'. The greater point of his name is this: He really was a servant of the KING OF KINGS- the LORD. Such is our calling.

Other Biblical examples of God physically saving/delivering His people

-Daniel in the lions den
-Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego
-Paul from various plots of the Jews
-David from Saul

Since God knows how to save and deliver us we should not hesitate to do what He's called us to do and what's right: proclaim Christ, call people to repentance, live holy and godly lives

2. Spiritual salvation

In and through faith in Christ one is saved from the judgment to come

-One is saved by Christ alone. In Jesus alone is the forgiveness of sins
-A person's greatest need is to be reconciled to God
-Unless a person turns to Christ they will die in their sins and be eternally judged.

Have you turned to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and peace with God?

3. God rewards faithfulness and blesses those who follow and obey Him

From start to finish this biblical principle is found in the Bible: Obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings discipline and judgment

At risk to himself, Ebed Melech stood up Jeremiah and righteousness- declaring the treatment of Jeremiah to be a wicked thing.

At risk to himself, Ebed Melech interceded on Jeremiah's behalf and by King's command Ebed Melech took 30 men, along with some rags -that Jeremiah might not be cut by the ropes as he was pulled out of the mud

So the question is: Does God reward and bless the faithful? Does God reward and bless those who obey Him and seek to honour Him? YES AND YES

a. By the power of God, God blessed Jeremiah and had him drawn out of the mud and mire that people expected him to die in
b. For Ebed Melech there was also a special blessing.

Note the words of Jeremiah to Ebed Melech in Jeremiah 39:15-18 "While Jeremiah had been confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him: "Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Cushite, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words against this city through disaster, not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.' "

CONCLUSION

Jeremiah 38 is a marvelous account of God's saving power.

For his faithfulness to God, Jeremiah gets tossed into the miry clay of an empty cistern- basically sentenced to die a cruel death

Into the breach steps a man a courage and faith-- Ebed Melech

By the agency of Ebed Melech- whose name means "Servant of the King", God saves Jeremiah. God keeps His Word to Jeremiah.

The Principles and lessons of our text

1. God always keeps His promises
2. Our God saves

He knows how to rescue godly people from their trials.

So then: Don't hesitate to do what is right

He saves people, who put their faith in Christ, from the judgment to come.

Have you turned to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins?

3. God rewards faithfulness and blesses those who follow Him