Suggested reading: Jeremiah chapter 38 verses 1-28
In today’s meditation we join the history of the nation of Israel, when Zedekiah was on the throne of Judah. He was, arguably, their weakest king. He found it difficult to make decisions and yielded to any persuasive arguments from others. He ought to have listened, primarily, to the word of God, spoken by Jeremiah, the prophet.
Four of Zedekiah’s princes overheard Jeremiah saying that those people who remained the city of Jerusalem would die at the hands of their enemies, i.e. the Babylonians and those who surrendered to them would live, verses 1-2. Therefore, they went to Zedekiah and demanded that Jeremiah should be put to death, because he was bad for morale: ‘Please, let THIS MAN be put to death, for thus he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people by speaking such words to them. For THIS MAN does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm’, verse 4.
Zedekiah allowed them to do as they pleased with Jeremiah, verse 5. They put him in a dungeon that was so deep that they had to let him down with cords. There was no water in it at the time; therefore, he just sank in the mire, verse 6. However, God looked after His servant and delivered him out of (not ‘from’) his suffering.
This moving incident is a reminder to us of the way that men treated Jesus. His one desire in coming into this world was to seek our welfare; however, they treated Him like a common criminal. In short, they did not want THIS MAN. They accused Him of seeking to stir up rebellion against the Romans and claimed that He deserved to die. In a very real sense, they cast Him into ‘a pit’ that was far deeper than the one that Jeremiah was placed in, when they crucified Him. But God raised Him from the dead. The Bible says of Him: ‘But THIS MAN, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God’, Hebrews chapter 10 verse 12.
We do pray that you will know THIS MAN.