08/20 Victory In Battles

Date: Monday August 20, 2012Today’s ChaptersJeremiah 37-39Message Title: Victory In Battles
Hello My Friend,
Did you ever watch a movie where there is a group of guys trying to bring down the one guy? Each one thinks they are tough enough to knock him down only to be the one to fall? People are like that in real life, rebellious, tough guys, who think they have control over what people think and do. As Christians, we face a battle every day, people and things constantly trying to knock us down, but we have a body guard stronger than the strongest battle we will ever face, and that is Jesus. Just like the one guy who might get beat up a bit, wins the battle, so will we. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 15:57,58.
Jeremiah had his fair share of battles, especially when judgment had come to Judah and just as he warned them, the Chaldean’s were attacking, and here he is in the midst of all the mess. Instead of doing what Jeremiah had instructed them to do from God, the king and princes rebelled, casting him into prison for being the one who sent them. “Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison. When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD? And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon. Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread out of the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.” – Jeremiah 37:15-17,21.
Jeremiah’s intentions were to slip himself in with Jews who were being taken into Babylon before things began happening, but it didn’t work out so well. Things even got worse for him when he was cast into a dungeon for telling them that they were still not going to win the battle. “Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it. Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you. 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.” – Jeremiah 38:1,3-6.
It may have seem like God had forgotten about Jeremiah, but he was right there with him, he sent an Ethiopian named, Ebedmelech to help him get out of that dungeon. “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. 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. 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.” – Jeremiah 38:10-12.
Sometimes the trials we face can feel like they will never end and that God is never around, but it is through these trials that God works miracles in us. All trials come to pass and, let me tell you, they are a testimony and hope to others as well, which can bring them to know Christ as too. “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” – 2 Timothy 2:9,10.
After Jeremiah got pulled out of the dungeon he was placed in the court of the prison where God told him to speak to Ebedmelech. “Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee. But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.” – Jeremiah 39:11,12,15-18.
God promised Ebedmelech that he would be safe and no harm would come to him for helping Jeremiah, but warned him that because he trusted God he was going to be constant prey by those who don’t. It seems like it is much easier for the wicked to pick on those who trust Jesus Christ because of their faith, and Jesus even warns us that we are prey as well, but just as God promised Ebedmelech that he would be protected we will be also. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” – Matthew 5:10-12.
God always takes care of us, yes, we face constant criticism, false accusations, and even persecution, but we need not worry or seek revenge ourselves, He gets the revenge it for us. We can live in obedience to the will of God and be blessed. We just need to keep pressing forward, enduring the trials, trusting God, knowing that in the end we are His blessed. Praise God! “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” – I Peter 4:12-17.
Today’s Prayer: God, You promise that You will always be with us, through our battles it can seem like You are so far, but You are always there with a battle plan. There is not one battle that we cannot win with You leading the way. When things get tough, remind us that we we have a tougher, stronger God on our side to help us with the battle. God, give us Your power, strength, and courage to face the battles before us knowing that You will always give us the victory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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