Summary: The message is a good message for Pastor Appreciation. It talks Ebedmelech - the little known person in the Bible who lifted the prophet Jeremiah out of the muck and mire of the dungeon. There are 4 reasons why pastors can find themselves in a pit, and


Jeremiah 38:6-13 (KJV) "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. (7) Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; (8) Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying, (9) 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 like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city. (10) Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. (11) 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. (12) And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. (13) So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison."


We find in our text this morning that Jeremiah, through no fault of his own, was thrown into a mud pit, and began to sink in the mud and mire

And there came a man, by the name of Ebedmelech who had compassion and literally lifted the man of God out of the mud and the mire

And I want to speak to you on the subject of "Lifting the Man of God"

For you see, there are times when, like Jeremiah, that the man of God finds himself sinking in the mud pit of despair

And for the man of God, there are many mud pits

A. There is the mud pit of the man of God's PERSONAL LIFE

For you see, the man of God is a person, a real person, just like all of us

I was speaking one time to a person at another church and I asked them how did they like one of their former pastors

And that person’s response was, “All right, but he had his flaws.”

And oh how true it is that the man of God has his flaws

And this is one of the great things about God and the Bible, and that is that in every story of the great men of God, you not only see their great triumphs and exploits, but you see the real struggles of their personal lives

Like a symphony that has both major and minor chords

Like a painting that has both bright colors and dark hues

We see the men of God in the proper light

• Moses got angry

• Samuel wouldn't correct His children

• David committed adultery and murder

• Peter denied the Lord

• Paul was tempted to be high-minded

And yet, it was these flawed men, who moved their generations for God

Why? Not because of their personal flaws, but in spite of them

Pastor Bill Hybels tells the story in his book, “The Contagious Christian” about how when they built their sanctuary and got ready for the final inspection, that one of his associates took a flash light and shined it in the ceiling and saw numerous flaws

But the contract stipulated that in the final inspection, it was to be in normal room lighting only, and they couldn’t use flashlights to inspect

And that’s they way it is with the men that God uses – you may not see in normal situations to personal struggles, but they are there

God doesn’t call angels, perfect beings to pastor, but He does call the pastors angels – people who he is perfecting

We must understand that the man of God often, in his own inward struggle finds himself in the mud pit of despair

Not only is there the mud pit of the man of God's personal inward struggles, secondly…

B. There is often the mud pit of the extra strain on the MARRIAGE of the man of God

The man of God, the pastor, is unlike any other job

If you

--drive a truck, you spouse has nothing to do with it

--if you deliver the mail, your spouse has nothing to do with it

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