Lord, help me to be an Ebedmelech kind of person!

Thinking today of kind and compassionate individuals… very special people who will step in, take action, and at great risk and personal sacrifice do something to help out or rescue another person… even people they don’t know personally. We sometimes call them “heroes” (although they usually shun the term and feel uncomfortable with it). Know anyone who fits that description?
Well, a fellow by the name of Ebedmelech, an Ethopian who served on Judean King Zedekiah’s personal staff was that kind of person! He heard that some evil, vindictive, cruel individuals had persuaded Zedekiah, the king, to allow them to throw Jeremiah, the prophet, into the cistern of Malchiah. This was a terrible, inhuman thing to do… There was no water in the cistern, only deep, putrid muck. Jeremiah sank deep into the mud, up to his armpits. These evil men left Jeremiah, God’s prophet, there to starve and die! Ebedmelech, heard about what they had done, went to the king at great personal risk, appealed to him, and got permission to rescue Jeremiah. He got thirty men, some rope, and some old clothes to put under Jeremiah’s arms, and they rescued him and pulled him out of the cistern.
After Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, because of God’s judgment on Judah’s sin, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, the prophet: “Go and say to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will fulfill my words against this city [Jerusalem] for harm and not for good… BUT I will deliver you on that day declares the Lord! … I will surely save you and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in Me, declares the Lord!’”
God remembered and honored the kindness and compassion of Ebedmelech, an individual who was not of the nation of Israel, but someone who reverenced and trusted God and took action to help and rescue one of God’s prophets who was in need! Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you show for His name in serving the saints.” Jesus Himself assured us, “The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you he will be no means lose his reward!” (Matthew 10:41-42) And one more… “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to EVERYONE, and ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO ARE OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH (i.e. fellow Christians)! (Galatians 6:10)
So what am I going to do? I’m going to look for opportunities to be an “Ebedmelech!” It’s the right thing to do! It’s honorable! It’s “Christ-like behavior”… AND it God honors it!

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