“So the officials took Jeremiah from his cell and lowered him by ropes into an empty cistern in the prison yard. It belonged to Malkijah, a member of the royal family. There was no water in the cistern, but there was a thick layer of mud at the bottom, and Jeremiah sank down into it. But Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, an important court official, heard that Jeremiah was in the cistern. At that time the king was holding court at the Benjamin Gate, so Ebed-melech rushed from the palace to speak with him. ‘My lord the king,’ he said, ‘these men have done a very evil thing in putting Jeremiah the prophet into the cistern. He will soon die of hunger, for almost all the bread in the city is gone.’


So the king told Ebed-melech, ‘Take thirty of my men with you, and pull Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.’ Jeremiah 38:6-10 (NLT)



Jeremiah had been placed in prison because of his message from God that the nation would be delivered over to the Babylonians. He was put in a dungeon, which he begged the king to not send him back there. Then, the king put him in the palace prison and guaranteed him food for as long as the city had food. However, there were a few officials who accused Jeremiah of treason and asked to put him in a cistern to die. Jeremiah went from a dungeon to a cistern with no water.  Jeremiah sank deeper into the mud, and would have contemplated how he got there. He would die in this cistern if someone didn’t come to his aid. Then, Ebed-melech heard about Jeremiah. He was an Ethiopian, and he had influence with the king. He used his influence to create a turnaround in Jeremiah’s situation. He was an outsider to God’s people but allowed God to strategically use him to deliver Jeremiah from his death sentence.


Have you ever obeyed God only for a situation to go from bad to worse? Jeremiah understood the challenges with obeying God yet facing undesirable circumstances.  Even so, God is able to send people at the right time to aid in a turnaround to your situation. In the course of your life, you probably have rarely, if ever, thought about Ebed-melech. However, Jeremiah would have always remembered Ebed-melech because of how he stood in the gap for him in his moment of need.  God can send you an Ebed-melech, but he may also want you to be an Ebed-melech to someone else.  Sometimes we can think we can do very little to make a difference in someone’s life. If you are sitting in the pit of despair, ask God to do for you what you can’t do. A muddy cistern, rock-bottom, or a messy life is not too difficult for God. But if you find yourself standing in a place of influence today, ask God to give you boldness like Ebed-melech to help someone else.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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