Jeremiah is caught up in the capture of Jerusalem but he’s safe because God is looking out for him. Nebuchadnezzar even issues the order for his release.
Jeremiah FINALLY gets released from the court of the guard where he was imprisoned for most of King Zedekiah’s reign. Who releases him? Nebuchadnezzar! We will see this detail in more detail tomorrow, but for today we will see how God orchestrated and assured Jeremiah’s safety.
I have NO idea if God spoke to Nebuchadnezzar or who He spoke to him through. But it is clear that Nebuchadnezzar is following God’s directions. Nebuchadnezzar gave specific instructions to his highest-ranking officials regarding Jeremiah. “Take him, look after him well, and do him on harm, but deal with him as he tells you” (verse 12).
These instructions didn’t end with the first member in the chain. Nebuchadnezzar’s instructions were shared ALL THE WAY down the chain of command. ALL the chief officers of the king of Babylon knew of Jeremiah and the king’s intentions for him.
There is one more person who is treated special when Jerusalem falls. We don’t get to see his whole story but we get to see Jeremiah’s gratitude and God’s blessings for his faithfulness. This person is not from Judah. He is not a high official. He is one of the lowliest servants of King Zedekiah. The man who took his own life in his hands when he approached the king and asked him to save Jeremiah from the cistern.
Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian was singled out by God for special protection. God Himself sent Jeremiah to this humble man with a message of hope. I don’t know if God sent Jeremiah to him before Jerusalem fell or during its fall. The language used seems to point to an earlier communication between the men. The fall appears to be still in the future when Jeremaih gave Ebed-melech the promise from God.
“Behold, I will fulfill My words against this city for harm and not for good, and they shall be accomplished before you on that day. But I will deliver you on that day, declares the Lord, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in Me, declares the Lord” (verses 16b-18).
Notice that God didn’t say, “Because you helped my servant Jeremiah when he was in trouble.” Instead, Ebed-melech is rewarded specifically for trusting in the Lord. I’m sure there were others who trusted in the Lord but Ebed-melech acted on that trust. He ‘put feet to his faith’ when he stood up for God’s servant, Jeremiah. And his name will be remembered in Jeremiah’s story.
GOD watches over His people. Period. When He makes a promise you can take it to the bank. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be obstacles on the way to the end of the promise but you can bet that God will walk with you every step of the way there. Jeremiah was in prison. People wanted to kill him for the words that he was sharing. He was confined for YEARS in the court of the guard. But he was always safe in God’s hands. No matter what man tried to do to him, he was protected by God Himself.
God watches over and protects us just as surely as He did for Jeremiah and Ebed-melech. Those who put their faith in Him are SAFE in His hands. There are bumpy roads along the way, just like Jeremiah too. He walks with us all the way to the ‘finish line’. He doesn’t leave in the middle of the night. He doesn’t get distracted by other Kingdom business. He doesn’t get tired along the way. He is EVER present and ALWAYS faithful; even when I’m not.
Father God, THANK YOU for all Your promises. THANK YOU that You NEVER leave me and will be with me for the rest of my life, AND BEYOND! I wonder what those days will look like. Definitely worth every hurdle on the way there!