Jeremiah 38-40; Psalms 74, 79
I like Ebed-melech, and I bet you don’t even know who he is. (I didn’t either until I read Jeremiah 38 this morning). But I think he is one of my new favorite Old Testament personalities.
Ebed-melech was an Ethiopian eunuch who worked for King Zedekiah. When he heard Jeremiah the prophet had been thrown into a cistern and left to die, Ebed-melech went to the king and asked permission to bring Jeremiah up out of the muddy pit. The king not only gave that permission, he told his servant to hurry before Jeremiah died there.
Now this is what made me want to hang out with Ebed-melech: He ran and gathered old clothes and rags, and threw them into the cistern. He told Jeremiah to put them under his armpits under the ropes. Ebed-melech was going to pull Jeremiah up, but Jeremiah had been sinking in mud for who knows how long. It wasn’t going to be easy to pull him out of that. And Ebed-melech figured that those ropes would tear into Jeremiah’s skin if left unprotected.
Ebed-melech considered the prophet’s well-being, he recognized a need and met that need even before Jeremiah knew he had the need!
Our pastors are our modern-day prophets, those who proclaim the Word of God. Oh, I pray for my pastors. I lift them up, so to speak. But Ebed-melech has me asking if I really take care of them.
Do I consider their well-being? Do I anticipate a need they might have, and meet that need even before they realize it? I am blessed to sit under the teaching of two godly, hard-working men. And I want to be their Ebed-melech. I’ll continue to lift them up before the Lord, and ask for their protection, and blessings on their ministries. But I also want to be sensitive to any need they might have that I can meet. They are pulled in so many directions. I’d like to be the rags under their armpits.