Turn to the story of the Ethiopian eunuch… Where did you turn, Acts 8? That’s not the eunuch I want us to look at this evening.
Introduction. In the dark days prior to Jerusalem’s destruction, when the people had rejected God and His word, a foreigner chose to trust in God; the Ethiopian eunuch Ebed-melech
In Jeremiah 38, we see that Jeremiah is preaching God’s word like he was supposed to.
Read Jeremiah 38:1-3
Jeremiah is telling the people what they needed to do to be saved from the coming destruction that would come upon Jerusalem. But this message is not listened to. If you were over the people who were about to fight a battle, and someone came among the people and said, there is no use fighting, you’re going to lose over and over again, you wouldn’t be too happy either, especially when he is saying you may as well surrender while you have a chance. This would trouble those who were about to fight the Chaldeans. As the princes of Judah say in verse 4, they were afraid that Jeremiah would weaken the hands of those who were going to fight. Their solution was to silence the messenger. They wanted to put him to death. They believed Jeremiah was against the people, though his message was one that was seeking their welfare.
Jeremiah, who had just got out of prison in ch37 for his preaching, is cast into the dungeon of Malchiah because of this message (some versions refer to it as a cistern or a pit). Verse 6 states that he was let down into this dungeon with ropes, and that in the dungeon there was no water, but mire, in which Jeremiah sank in.
So Jeremiah is in this pit, and the way it looks this could mean his death, but we see in verse 7 that there was a man, a foreigner that truly feared the Lord.
Read Jeremiah 38:7-13
So this foreigner, the king’s eunuch,, who seems to be a trusted man to King Zedekiah, comes because he heard of the evil that was done to Jeremiah. He takes action. There are just 3 points that I would like to make considering this event:
1. EBED-MELECH HAD COURAGE.
Many opposed the words of Jeremiah when he spoke them, but Ebed-Melech was willing to stand for what was right and to stand against the enemies of the truth and of Jeremiah.
The amazing thing is that this foreigner goes to the king to petition for God’s prophet, and he does so, calling the princes of Judah evil men. HE was taking a risk in standing up for what was right! Who knows what could have came upon him if the king did not agree. He may have been thrown in the same pit as Jeremiah.
What would we have done in Ebed-Melech’s position? Would we have stood up for the Lord and His prophet? Would we have put our necks on the line to do what is right?
Well, to answer those questions, just look at how we respond to situations that we are put into now.
How many of us have been ashamed at times for doing what is right or for standing up for the Lord, or just as bad, how many times have we been to ashamed to do anything? Are any of us unwilling to put ourselves in a position where we may be ridiculed or humiliated?
We need to not be ashamed!!! We have such a powerful message to share with others, and we do not need to be ashamed of it!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:8 to not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, but to share with him in suffering for the gospel’s sake. Let this be our reminder to not be ashamed because our reward is at stake!
We may be looked at as strange for wanting to be with God’s people on Sunday’s as He wants us to be. Our family’s may look at us as having our priorities messed up because we put the Lord and His word before them as He instructs us to.
We don’t stand up for those who misuse the Lord’s name as we should, we don’t share the gospel as we should… Why? Are we ashamed?
Jesus says in Luke 9:26
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.
If we are not willing to confess our Lord when times get tough, we should not think that He will confess us in the presence of god as His servants!!!!
2. THE 2ND I WOULD LIKE US TO TAKE OUT OF THIS TEXT IS HOW ONE WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD TREATS SOMEONE ELSE THAT TRUSTS IN THE LORD.
He showed compassion to Jeremiah by going to the king on his behalf, saving his life (Jeremiah 38:11-13).
We need to be compassionate like this Ethiopian Eunuch, helping our brethren to be lifted out of the mire in their lives. There are so many things that we can struggle with as Christians. We need to be willing to share our struggles that we have and to be willing to serve one another and help one another to rid our lives out of the sin that we are sinking in.
One of the most fulfilling things in this life is companionship. We need to see the value in relationships with others, especially our spiritual relationships.
2 are better than 1. They have a good return for their labors.
410 If one falls, his companion can pick them up. Have you ever been in the position where you have fallen and hurt yourself, and your friend is there to lift you up? How encouraging is that? How about spiritually? We stumble spiritually, but we have that one that we hold ourselves accountable to and they are there to lift you up and to encourage you to do what is right.
We need others to help us to stay strong (illustration- charcoal or wood on a fire)
0411 If you are stranded out in the cold of night, you have a much greater chance of surviving if you stay close together.
0412 If one is bad, and 2 is good, how much better is 3! The increase of number from two to three is significant: the more friends the better. Strong ropes are made up of small strands. The small strands working together make a strong unit.
The age-old question that Cain asked of the Lord in Genesis 4:9; “Am I my brother’s keeper?” What should our answer to that question be as Christians?
YES! We have a responsibility to watch out for and care for one another. The teaching of the New Testament is pretty clear about our responsibilities towards one another.
1. We are to “love one another” John 13:34
2. We are to "edify one another" - Ro 14:19
3. We are to "serve one another" - Ga 5:13
4. We are to "bear one another's burdens" - Ga 6:1-2
5. We are to be "forgive one another" - Ep 4:32
6. We are to be "submit to one another" - Ep 5:21
7. We are to "exhort one another" - He 3:12-13
8. We are to "consider one another" - He 10:24-25
9. We are to be "hospitable to one another" - 1Pe 4:8-10
In light of such "one another" passages, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing what we need to do, no matter how convenient or inconvenient it may be to do what we need to do to encourage one another and to help one another in this battle that we each face.
Ebed-Melech was willing to take a stand against Jeremiah’s opposition and help deliver Jeremiah from certain death. We don’t have to overcome the kind of opposition and obstacles that Ebed-Melech had to help a man of God. The only thing that stands in the way of our service to one another is ourselves. Are we an Ebed-Melech? We all need to strengthen our desire to be our brother’s keeper.
3. THOSE WHO FEAR GOD ARE REWARDED
When Jeremiah was rescued from the pit, he came to Zedekiah, and preached the same message to him that got him thrown in prison, telling him to surrender to spare his life, the lives of his family, and the city. But in 39:4, when the Chaldeans come upon the city to take it, he does not surrender. Zedekiah and those with him flee out of the city, where they are overtaken in v5. The last thing that he sees before his eyes are put out is his sons and all the nobles of Jerusalem being killed. Then Zedekiah was taken to Babylon. This was the reward to those who did not fear the Lord.
But this was not the case with Jeremiah and his rescuer Ebed-Melech. In 39:11-14 Jeremiah’s life is spared. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave charge to his commander in v12 to not harm him and to do whatever Jeremiah wanted him to do with him!
But before all of this happened, we are told that Jeremiah had gone to Ebed-Melech to give him the word of the Lord:
Read Jeremiah 39:15-18
God sees and is faithful to deliver those who trust in Him and serve His people. In the midst of God’s judgment and destruction of those who rebelled against Him, He saved the few that were righteous and spared them from His wrath.
Conclusion. No one is a foreigner to God who will trust in Him and obey Him. Ebed-Melech, an Ethiopian Eunuch, was delivered from death while the Jews who did not fear the Lord were dying as their city was destroyed.
God promises us all that if we are willing to deny ourselves and serve Him that we too can be delivered, but from a much greater death, the death to our souls that sin causes. If we put our trust in Him, He will deliver us and give us the victory over this world.