Purpose In The Pit


 Jeremiah ended up in his pit for a most unlikely reason.   He was obeying God.

The Babylonians were coming to take the people of Jerusalem captive and Jeremiah knew that resistance would be futile.  He had it on good authority, God Himself, that the people would be taken captive and he told them so.  

This was not the inspiring message the powers that be wanted to hear, but it was the message God had given.  

As punishment for his "treason", Jeremiah was lowered into a cistern where he sank deep in the mud, unable to even squirm his way out.  His fate looked sealed. Without access to food and water, he would die, stuck in the mud, in the bottom of a pit.  All because He spoke words God asked him to speak.  

Jeremiah could have remained silent.   This was not the first time obeying God had gotten him into trouble, and it wouldn't be the last.   But Jeremiah makes it clear that when God asks him to speak, he can't stay silent.

Your obedience to God may not result in the kind of life-threatening scenarios Jeremiah faced, but it can certainly feel that way sometimes.  

Perhaps you lost friends because you wouldn't engage in gossip.  Or maybe you lost a job because you refused to lie for your boss.  Perhaps a romantic interest broke up with you because you put God first.  Sometimes obeying God can feel a little bit like being in a pit, but the great news is that God will never leave you there. 

In Jeremiah's case, Ebed-Melech, an Ethiopian court official, was worried that Jeremiah was going to die in the pit and asked the king if he could help.   And the king who gave permission to put Jeremiah in the pit now gave permission to rescue him.   Ebed-Melech, took a team of 30 men and pulled Jeremiah out.   It is speculated that the rescue was risky and that's why it took 30 men.  Some pulled Jeremiah out, while the others kept watch for the ones that originally put him in the pit.  The rescue was also compassionate. They even thought to throw down rags to Jeremiah so he could protect his skin from the ropes.   

In the end, Ebed-Melech and Jeremiah got the same reward.  God promised to rescue them and keep them safe. 

You may be like Jeremiah, in a pit for no other reason than you were obedient.  Or you may be like Ebed-Melech, filled with compassion for someone who has been unjustly treated.   Know that God sees you and God will reward you.