Stewardship of Hope for the Poor
In this New Year Lockdown, obey the voice of God so that everything will go well with us even if we have to risk being thrown in the pit for telling the truth… Jeremiah 38:6&20.
⚠️ Like Joseph, who was thrown into the pit by his jealous siblings for telling the truth, Genesis 37:23-24, Jeremiah was thrown in the pit for telling the truth by those who influenced the palace, Jeremiah 38:6. Joseph, a prime minister in the making, found his way from the pit to the palace. Jeremiah, a preacher-prophet from the palace courts, was thrown into the pit and was again brought back from the pit to the palace courts to preach the same truth! He was preaching to King Zedekiah the same truth before and after his pit experience. His pit experience didn’t change the truth he was told to tell about the Babylonian captivity. He was firmly asking King Zedekiah to surrender to the Babylonians, Jeremiah 38:20.
⚠️ We see a prophet in the pit who was not changed by the pit. What would have we done in Jeremiah’s situation? He was threatened for speaking God’s truth and experienced all sorts of life threatening situations, but remained faithful to his calling.
Shephatiah, Gedaliah, Jehucal, Pashur were princes of Judah who influenced King Zedekiah. They were sick and tired of hearing Jeremiah saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it,'” Jeremiah 38:1-3. They wanted to hear an alternative truth that was a bit bearable. They were preaching resistance to the oppressors while Jeremiah was preaching submission, Jeremiah 38:20. Jeremiah was consistent in his prophetic ministry.
⚠️ Zedekiah, the puppet king of Babylon, could not find the courage to stand up to the princes of Judah and allowed them to do to Jeremiah as they pleased and they put him into a dungeon-like pit, sinking into the mud, Jeremiah 38:6. Zedekiah did what Pilate did when he handed over Jesus to be crucified, Matthew 27:24.
⚠️ God had a rescue plan for Jeremiah from the prison pit, through Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs, who was in the king’s house, and one who heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon, Jeremiah 38:7-13. Jeremiah 39:15-18 describes how, “Ebed-Melech received the same reward as Jeremiah. When Jerusalem fell, both men were rescued, for God delivers all who trust in him,” like all true servants of God who faithfully serve Him. Ebed-Melech, being a foreigner, could not do any of the temple rituals, Leviticus 21:20, yet he had a more godly and compassionate heart than those who participated in those rituals. Sometimes I find strangers more compassionate than church folks.
⚠️ God’s assurance to Zedekiah through Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 38:20-23, fell on deaf ears. The King had a chance to rescue everyone in the palace but he did his way. In this lockdown it is so important to hear God’s voice. He will have a rescue plan for our family and our community through us. Seek His face like never before. Don’t get carried away by the doomsday prophets. Search the Word like never before. We are living in perilous times. There were those who prophesied the timing of the lockdown. People were told it will all end quickly but we are still in it. We have to be law-abiding Christians and must not be a stumbling block. Trust God and obey His voice in this uncomfortable situation. God will confirm through His Word His plan for us for 2021.
⚠️ Child of God, Remember this, Jeremiah gave the consequences of obeying and disobeying God to Zedekiah, Jeremiah 38:17-18. We know the end result of his choice. He was given the consequences of the choice he would make before he was to make the choice. Yet he had chosen something that was detrimental. The King had an anguishing end returning to his palace, only to end up in captivity, and Jeremiah remained in Jerusalem to see the conquest of the city, just as God told.
⚠️ Jeremiah took the risk and delivered the message. How much risk are we willing to take even when we are all kept safe in this lockdown to turn our homes into home churches? Could we share the Good News of salvation to our loved ones? The risk of rejection is our greatest Babylon in this lockdown when we are locked down with our loved ones more now. At least let them see our godly lifestyle.
⚠️ God began the word to Jeremiah by identifying Himself. He was the Lord, Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel. He was the God of hosts, the God of heavenly armies and all their power. He was the God of Israel, the Master and Lord of the covenant descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the same God who never changes, Malachi 3:6. He will open the door for us to bring His message to this hurting world in 2021, listen and obey, Jeremiah 38:20… Amen. 🙏
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Blessed to be a Blessing to the Blessed People 👨👨👧👦
📖 Jeremiah 39:10
Stewardship of Hope for the Poor
Jeremiah Chapter 39 is a brief account of the Fall of Jerusalem.
✅ God’s judgment brought about an ironic socioeconomic reversal in Judah and Jerusalem.
✅ Most of the citizens were carried off into exile. Some people ie the poorest were left by Nebuchadnezzar’s officials and given rights to the land ( “Nebuzzaradan the commander… left the poor people who owned nothing… gave them VINEYARDS and FIELDS. v 10 )
✅ The Fall of Jerusalem was a Blessing in Disguise for the poorest people : These section of people were disenfranchised and mistreated but now they found themselves in possessions of their oppressors’ property.
CAN THE CHURCH BE RESPONSIBLE STEWARDS OF HOPE FOR THE POOR AND NEEDY PEOPLE AS WELL AS IN THE TIME OF CRISIS ❓
💕 Beloved Church , we as Christians are called to participate voluntarily in precisely this kind of radical reversal ( Mark 10:21;Luke 12:33; Acts 4:32-37 )
📌 Before God fulfills his promise to reverse the circumstances of the poor and oppressed, those of us who are well-to-do and influential are called to :
🔖 Humble ourselves
🔖 Comfort others in the same way we would want to be comforted in their situation ( Luke 6:20,24 )
Let us take action to bring HOPE to someone today 🙏
Glory to God 🙌
✍🏽 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳