Thursday, August 25, 2016

Saved by a compassionate black man

Thursday 8-25-2016   Home in Modesto
Scripture Reading:  Jer 37 - 39    Psalm 79    2 John
S=Scripture  O=Observation  A=Application  P=Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S.  Jer 38:8-13  Ebed-Melech went out of the king's house and spoke to the king, saying: "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city." Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, "Take from here thirty men with you, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies." So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took from there old clothes and old rags, and let them down by ropes into the dungeon to Jeremiah. Then Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, "Please put these old clothes and rags under your armpits, under the ropes." And Jeremiah did so. So they pulled Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon. NKJV

O.  Jeremiah’s prophecies caused a gang of princes to take him and lower him with ropes into a dungeon where he sank down in the deep mud.  And they left him there to die.  But this kind hearted black man, who was a respected member of the king’s staff, pleaded for Jeremiah’s life.  He took 30 strong men with him rags and old clothes to put under Jeremiah’s arms… and with ropes they gently lifted him to safety.  We might never have had the book of Jeremiah, were it not for Ebed-Melech.  Finally God rewarded Ebed-Melech with this message:  (Jer 39:18)  “I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me," says the LORD.'" NKJV

A.  It happened early in my ministry.  Someone began a false story about me that passed from minister to minister.  I had no idea why some pastor friends were avoiding me. Pastor Mel Woods was passing on the deadly story to other pastors when he heard the truth. He rushed to my rescue, took me under his care and fought for me on every front.  Mel Woods lowered the rope and lifted me from the mire.  Isn’t that the very thing that Jesus has done for each of us?

P.  I praise You, my Lord! You lifted me as a little child, long before I had to sink in the deep mire of sin. Only You know what horrors You rescued me from. And then when I was just getting an exciting thrust into ministry, I was tossed aside. But You did not allow me to be thrown away on the garbage pile. You had a compassionate man ready to help. Thank you Lord! You sent a thoughtful man to save your servant, Jeremiah, and You did the same for me.  And now let me become that compassionate man for someone else.  Amen.

He Lifted Me

In loving-kindness Jesus came
  My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
  Through grace He lifted me.
From sinking sand He lifted me,
With tender hand He lifted me,
From shades of night to plains of light,
  Oh, praise His name, He lifted me!
He called me long before I heard,
  Before my sinful heart was stirred,
But when I took Him at His word,
  Forgiven, He lifted me.
His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
  His hands by cruel nails were torn,
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
  In love He lifted me.
Now on a higher plane I dwell,
  And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
  He should have lifted me.

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