So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. ~Jeremiah 38:11
This morning, we are examining the life of a lesser-known character of the Bible. His name is Ebedmelech. He is mentioned in Jeremiah 38-39. He is someone forgotten by most people, but he was not forgotten by God. His name means “the servant of the king.” Let us see this morning how Ebedmelech challenges us in our service to the Lord.
We see a dignified role.
Ebedmelech was an Ethiopian captive who was indentured as the king’s servant. Whatever name he was given at birth was changed when he became King Zedekiah’s servant. As the king’s servant, his first responsibility was to the king’s needs. Whenever his name was called, it was a living reminder of who he belonged to. There were privileges of being the king’s servant, but there was the reality that he was also a servant for life unless the king released him. As a servant, it was important for him to have the trust of the king. In his role, Ebedmelech is a type of an exceptional servant of God. A servant of God lives and serves for the Lord. He is to have no other master, or conflicts of interest. We serve a great and unchangeable King Who deserves nothing less than our best.
We see a dangerous risk.
Ebedmelech heard that Jeremiah was sentenced to a dungeon filled with mire. It was damp, dirty, and vermin-infested. It was a place where the prisoner could be forgotten and left to perish. Ebedmelech heard the false accusations that were said about Jeremiah. Unlike others in the king’s palace, he did not believe any of the accusations. He boldly stepped into action and intervened for Jeremiah’s deliverance. This was dangerous, and placed his role and life at great risk. His intervention would be seen as defiance to the king’s original judgment against Jeremiah. However, Ebedmelech was willing to risk everything to secure the deliverance of a friend. What risks are you willing to take in serving the Lord?
We see a determined rescue.
Amazingly, the king granted Ebedmelech the authority to secure Jeremiah’s rescue. With this approval, he also gave Ebedmelech thirty men of his choosing to help him. With these men, they went to the dungeon area and let down some old rags with two ropes. Jeremiah was instructed to place the old rags under his arm pits and to slide the ropes under that. Then, the men gently pulled Jeremiah out of the mire that he had been standing in. Ebedmelech’s determination to rescue Jeremiah was successful! A servant of the king should serve with the determination that what he does will be successful.
We see a deserving recognition.
Not long after Jeremiah was rescued, Jerusalem was under siege by the king of Babylon. The Jews were either killed or taken captive as slaves. Jeremiah brought a message from God to Ebedmelech. In the midst of a very bad situation for the Jews and Jerusalem, Ebedmelech was given assurance that his life would be spared. The reason for this is found in the recognition of Ebedmelech’s trust in God. Ebedmelech was a man of faith. Faith honors God, and God honors faith. Ebedmelech was recognized for having unwavering faith in God. The last thing we read about Ebedmelech is of the depth and richness of his faith in God. While everyone else in the kingdom abandoned their faith in the Lord, Ebedmelech was strong in his faith. He had faith in God’s Word and God’s servant. God’s recognition of this man reminds me of the promise in Heb. 6:10 that God is not unrighteous to forget our labor of love for Him.
Ebedmelech is unknown to most people. However, he inspires us that we can be servants of great faith and courage, even when others choose not to be. Take a stand, be faithful, and do the right thing, regardless of what others do.
Have a faith-inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 40-42