Scripture reading – Jeremiah 38-40, Psalms 74, 79
The prophetic ministry of Jeremiah has taken him from the grandstand of the king’s palace to the stocks of a prison cell. In spite of all he has suffered and the humiliation heaped upon him, God’s prophet has not wavered in his devotion to the LORD, nor the LORD in His warnings of impending judgment to come upon Judah and Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 38 – In the Pits, But Not Forsaken
Jeremiah encouraged the people to accept the doom of Jerusalem was sealed and the only hope of life was to surrender to the Chaldeans (38:1-2). Jeremiah prophesied, “This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it” (38:3). Rather than repent, the hearts of the people were so hardened against the LORD that they rose up and demanded His prophet be put to death (38:4).
For the prophet, things went from bad to worse when King Zedekiah heeded the demands of the leaders of Jerusalem and delivered Jeremiah into their hands who then took him from prison and left him to die in a dungeon described as a place where “there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire” (38:5-6).
Providentially, a man named Ebedmelech interceded for Jeremiah and petitioned the king for the old prophet to be delivered from the dungeon (38:7-13) and taken to the palace prison where he would remain until the Chaldeans conquered Jerusalem (38:14-28).
Jeremiah 39-40 – The Final Siege of Jerusalem
Having failed to heed Jeremiah’s counsel to surrender the city to Nebuchadnezzar, king Zedekiah and his sons fled Jerusalem and were taken prisoner by the Chaldeans (39:1-5).
Tragically, the sons of Zedekiah and all the nobles of Judah were slain, the King’s eyes were put out, and he and the people were led away to Babylon (39:6-10).
In an ironic, but providential twist of divine providence, Nebuchadnezzar removed Jeremiah from prison and directed his servants to care for his needs and released him to go home (39:11-14; 40:1-6).
History is “His Story;” a testimony of the providential works of God Who is Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation.
He is El Shaddai, Almighty God, and is able to direct the evil purposes of wicked men to be that which is good for His people and for His glory (Romans 8:28-29).
The enemies you face today are not so big they are outside of the sovereignty of El Shaddai!
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith