Do you sometimes wonder, like I do, WHY some people and nations seem deaf to warnings, that they simply refuse to listen to God’s Word and follow their own way of worldly living which will eventually bring destruction to them? Jeremiah, a mighty, brave spokesman for God, is one of my favourite prophets, maybe because of his severe suffering. He lived a lonely and solitary life and was commanded to neither marry nor attend any social gatherings. [Jer. 15:17].
H. Lalleman-de Winkel wrote – “The prophet Jeremiah would have been a ’failure’ in our society, a tragic figure who treads a lonely path. But this man fulfilled precisely in and through his suffering God’s PURPOSE for his life and for the people of his day.”
Nobody was inclined to listen to Jeremiah even though he served for 40 years as God’s warning to the nation. He was extremely poor and never achieved material success. He was thrown into prison [Ch. 37], into a pit of mud [Ch.38], and taken to Egypt against his will [Ch. 43]. He was rejected and ignored by his family, his neighbours, false prophets, priests, kings, leaders, and friends. In the eyes of the world, Jeremiah was not a success, but in God’s eyes he was one of the most successful people in all of history. “Success, as measured by God, involves obedience and faithfulness. Regardless of the cost, Jeremiah bravely proclaimed the word of God.” [Pg.1283 – NIV Study Bible]
I’d like to zoom in on Jeremiah’s restoration when he was thrown into a cistern/pit of mud in Chapter 38. His enemies, cruel officials of the king, cast Jeremiah into a mud pit, where he would starve to death, not realizing that Ebed-Melech, a Cushite, also an official in the royal palace, knew of this wicked deed. This kind man went to the king and requested that Jeremiah be taken out of this horrible death trap. The king ordered that Ebed-Melech take 30 men [Probably to protect them] and pull Jeremiah out of the mud pit. “So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. Ebed-Melech the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.” [Jer. 38:11-13]
Ebed-Melech showed great compassion towards Jeremiah in that he provided soft clothes for Jeremiah’s painful body so that the ropes would not wound him further. THAT is the kind of loving restoration we need to use when helping others too. We need to lovingly restore their wounds
with Christ’s balm of love. Psalm 147:3 says that God “…heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”
Dearest, precious Jesus, please give me a heart like Yours, that binds up the broken-hearted with compassion and understanding love. Help me “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. [So that] They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendour.” [Isaiah 61:3] Amen