Heroes and Villains

Jeremiah 37 -39 The Hero is the Man of the Hour

Novels and mysteries have cliff hanger episodes to keep us riveted to the plot. Jeremiah’s book is no different and chapter by chapter we are privy to the plans of the villains and the heroes. First is the cowardly vacillating king, Zedekiah. The villains seek to keep the king from making a decision to surrender to the Babylonians. The hero is the man behind the scene yet to be discovered.

King Zedekiah vacillates between keeping the prophet Jeremiah safe but in the next moment lets the villains plot his demise.  Jeremiah makes a fateful mistake-or so we would surmise-to leave Jerusalem. The villains catch him and throw him into a muddy cistern and place a cover over it. End of Jeremiah, right? 

1500 yr old cistern

While the villains are busy slapping each other on the back for getting rid of Jeremiah, our man of the hour, our hero, Ebed Melech, a court servant, is busy convincing Zedekiah to get Jeremiah out of the cistern. Some time later he and thirty men use with ropes, rags, and towels to raise Jeremiah out of the cistern. Ebed Melech is the man of the hour.

Jeremiah probably thought he made a fateful mistake by trying to leave Jerusalem, but God was looking to demonstrate a lesson of what a faithful servant looks like behind the scenes. Ebed Melech just cared about Jeremiah, he wasn’t looking for any credit but God cared about Ebed Melech. As a reward, God told Jeremiah to tell him that he could be rescued and saved when the Babylonians take Jerusalem.

You never know when God will use you to be the man or woman (think Esther)  of the hour but God’s eyes see and He rewards faithfulness.

[picture of a cistern, 1500 yr old, found in Jerusalem courtesy of Pinterest ]



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