The Lock-Down—Bringing Hope to the Confined CircumstancesDay 2.
In Jeremiah 38, the prophet Jeremiah found himself at the bottom of a well – sunk down and up to his armpits in mud. We can’t be sure of what else may have been down there, whether vermin, insect or rubbish, but we do know that he had neither food nor water to sustain him. His days were numbered. King Zedekiah’s cronies had lowered Jeremiah down into the well by ropes in order to put space between him and his hearers. His prophecies of pending doom were killing morale. They could only have reasoned, ‘Yes, the Babylonian army has us surrounded, and yes, they are starving us out, but who are you, Jeremiah, to suggest that God is telling us to surrender or die?’ It is a given that fear and superstition make people do odd things. Jeremiah’s enemies of the court feared that the king might listen to Jeremiah, and their visions of grandeur in this palace of cards might fall flat. But I wonder if it was superstition that made them put him in the well. Somehow, a slow and miserable death in a well sat within the confines of their sick consciences, rather than carrying out a swift execution – albeit accidental. They must have believed that the wrath of God could be avoided if they could prove that he died of ‘natural causes,’ and not by their own hands. However, Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet, needn’t have worried himself with fear or superstition. God knew where he was and had a rescue plan in place.
Deliverance came in the form of an Ethiopian eunuch. No, not the one of Acts 8, but instead one named, Ebed-melech. He reported Jeremiah’s potential demise to the king and was given 30 soldiers to go to the well. Sadly, the political hatred surrounding Jeremiah was such that his friend had to bring with him such an excessive show of force. We can only imagine what was going through Jeremiah’s mind at the bottom of that well. One thing is for certain, he was bogged down in despair with nowhere to go. As natural as such feelings are, they proved to be a waste of emotion in Jeremiah’s case. God delivered him to preach another day. During our confinement it might do us well to remember that God is always working things out for His glory and our good. God has a army of Ebed-melechs out there – keep looking up!