Jeremiah 38:6 – “So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the king’s son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire.”
Jeremiah is an interesting guy. He simply served and obeyed the Lord, and it got him in all kinds of trouble. In this case, he was tossed into a prison. He was literally let down, lowered by ropes, into a dark hole in the ground that apparently was full of a disgusting mire. The word for ‘mire’ is simply ‘mud’ or ‘damp clay’. Yuck.
Admittedly, at times, while serving the Lord, I too have felt ‘let down‘. I was doing my part… but felt that God wasn’t doing His. Sometimes during these seasons I’d voice my feelings to God in prayer, but were truthfully more whining sessions. Recently I heard Pastor Al Pittman say, “I lashed out at the Lord because I didn’t really know Who God is,… and I absolutely didn’t know who I am not!” Ouch… that hurt. But the truth is, I was doubting.
If the enemy can get me to doubt God… or His Word… then he’s half-way to leading me to all kinds of wickedness and despair.
When I’m in the pit of despair (all of the Princess Bride fans get that?) my tendency is to stop reading God’s Word and move away from seeking His presence. This verse in Jeremiah 38 tells us specifically that in the pit “there was no water, but mire.” Water is a ‘type’ (a picture) of God’s Word. In Ephesians 5:26, (the context is how husbands should love their wives) Paul makes mention that husbands should “…sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word“. When I do this, when I stop going to God’s Word, I find that I, too, sink deeper into the mire of my depression and ‘woe is me’ attitude. In Psalm 119:25 the psalmist declares: “My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your Word.” Mire is basically wet ‘dust’, and when my soul is stuck in it, it is only God’s Word that can revive!
The fact is, God is God… and He is good. It’s interesting to me that Jeremiah wasn’t left in the pit. The story goes on to describe how he was remembered, miraculously, by a guy named Ebed-Melech who rescued him: “Then Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, ‘Please put these old clothes and rags under your armpits, under the ropes.’ And Jeremiah did so. So they pulled Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon…” (Jeremiah 38:12-13). God had not forgotten Jeremiah… and He has not forgotten you and me. He is good at rescuing us, if we’ll only stop doubting and put our trust in Him and His Word.
I also find it cool that Jeremiah is lifted out, but not before he is told to make himself comfortable by placing rags under his armpits. God even cared that Jeremiah was comfortable during the rescue! In John 14:16 Jesus declared, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever“. So too, you and I have been given God’s Holy Spirit, Who leads, guides, teaches, and even comforts us!
May you and I be those that when we go through hard times, when we feel ‘let down’, always go to God’s Word and seek His presence, rather than running the opposite direction and smack into more despair and gloom. We need to remember that God is God and we’re not… and that He is good. He has not forgotten us. We just need to make sure that we don’t forget Him.