“So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the Court of the Guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. There was no water in the cistern but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.”
Oh, get that picture. Jeremiah the prophet has proclaimed the word of God, and they let him down by ropes into a deep cistern where there is nothing but mud, and he sinks down into it. Like picture the prophet, sunken in mud. What are the thoughts going through his mind? How is he wrestling with this intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually? You ever find yourself in a place where you wonder, “How did this happen? Why am I here? Where is God in the middle of it?” Obviously, the reason here is because Jeremiah was proclaiming the word.
Even when all around your soul gives way, Jesus is your hope and stay. Even in the mud, you can rest in Him.
In the podcast episode from Jeremiah 37 we prayed for our persecuted brothers and sisters who are in similar situations right now. So we must remember them when we read Jeremiah 38. We must remember, and think about our North Korean brothers and sisters right now who are in mud working in a prison camp, like literally, or in a cell where there is no one else around them, and nowhere else to turn. Then I think about how we all find ourselves sometimes so very different, very different from our persecuted brothers, and sisters, and very different even from what Jeremiah was experiencing here. But do you ever find yourself in a place where you have nowhere else to turn but to God? Jeremiah’s stuck in mud. He has nothing, nowhere to turn but to God.
The whole picture here in Jeremiah 38 is God is faithful. He is with his servant. He’s standing on behalf of his servant. He’s working all this together ultimately for the good of his servant. So I want to encourage you. Maybe you find yourself in a place like that now, or whenever you find yourself in a place where you have nowhere else to turn, where even because of your obedience to God things get worse for you, that you would know God is with you, and you can trust him even when you’re in a position like Jeremiah was in. He sank in the mud. So God, we pray. We pray again for our brothers and sisters who are in prison right now for following you, in prison right now for proclaiming you. God, we pray for their strength, for their sustenance, as they have nowhere else to turn.
God, we pray that you would show yourself strong on their behalf. Help them now we pray. We pray for your blessings on their family members as this one they love is in prison. Lord, help those family members, help those kids to trust you when dad or mom is in prison right now. God, please, please, please use this for their good, and use them to bring many people to know you, or to trust in you in deeper ways. And God, we pray this for our own lives when we find ourselves in situations where it seems like we have nowhere to turn. Especially when we’re in those situations because we’ve obeyed you, or proclaimed your word.
So God, help us in those situations to know you are with us, to know that you are for us, to know your promises to us, your presence right there in the middle of what otherwise seems like a hopeless situation. Lord Jesus, you are our hope. You’ve promised, “I will be with you always to the end of the age.” God, you say to your people over and over throughout scripture, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.” So when we find ourselves in the mud, so to speak, God help us to remember that promise, to believe it, and to rest in your presence with us, and your power for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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