I. THE WORD OF THE LORD TO EBED-MELECH.
A. The name Ebed-melech means "servant of the King".
1. We know that he was an Ethiopian.
2. And as his name implies, he was a servant of the king.
B. He risked his own life to save the life of Jeremiah when Jeremiah was put in the dungeon by the princes of the land.
C. Now that the Babylonians have taken the city, he is fearful for his life.
D. God's word is sent to him from Jeremiah, in which the Lord promises him deliverance.
1. He will not be slain with the sword.
2. His life will be spared.
E. These promises are made to him because he put his trust in the Lord.
II. THE TIMES IN WHICH HE LIVED.
A. To put your trust in the Lord was a very unpopular thing to do.
1. It was to expose yourself to all kinds of ridicule.
2. For the most part, the people had turned their backs on God.
a. The people were living for pleasure.
b. They had become, as it were, almost addicted to sex.
c. They were ready to kill anyone who dared to speak out against their immorality.
d. Their nation was in the throes of death, but they did not want to hear of it.
e. They were plunging to their destruction but did not want to turn from their evil to save the nation.
f. Even the priesthood was corrupt, and the men that were recognized as the spiritual leaders had become so liberal that they were denying the word of God.
3. The general populace did not want to hear the word of the Lord.
a. They preferred the lies of the false prophets who gave them comfort in their sin.
b. God was warning them that they would face His judgment for their sin. They did not want to hear that or believe that.
4. Jeremiah had been warning them for forty years of the coming judgment of God.
a. They were saying, "We've heard that all of our lives."
b. They were telling the prophet to shut up, they were tired of hearing his same old line.
c. The people were scoffing at the promises of God.
5. Come to think of it the conditions were very similar to those we see in the United States today.
a. The desire to separate God from the national life.
b. A nation given over to pleasure and immorality.
c. An addiction to sex and an anything goes mentality.
d. A corrupted judicial system.
e. A desire to silence the voice of the true prophets of God that they may be soothed by the lies of the false prophets.
f. Scoffing at the promises of the coming again of Jesus Christ and the coming judgment of God upon the nations.
B. In that environment it is hard to put your trust in God.
1. As we read in the New Testament, God has not chosen many of the wise or noble to follow Him.
a. Not many of the College professors, or scientists, not many of the politicians, or those of the upper crust society.
b. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
2. Ebed-melech was just a black slave, you could not have been much lower on the social scale than that, but he was high on God's list and God sent him special words of comfort, and hope.
a. He may have been scorned by the world, but he was honored by God.
b. Many people are concerned about what the world thinks of them, what will your friends say, what is far more important is what does God think and what is God saying of you.
III. BECAUSE HE PUT HIS TRUST IN GOD HE RECEIVED SPECIAL ASSURANCES FROM GOD.
A. God will surely deliver him. Though a thousand will fall at his side and ten thousand at his right hand, it shall not come nigh him.
1. The scriptures say, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."
2. The judgment of God is coming upon this nation and our world, but if you put your trust in the Lord, he will deliver you in that day.
B. He will not fall into the hands of the enemy.
1. Though the world around him falls into the hands of the enemy, he shall not fall into their hands.
C. He shall not fall by the sword, but his life shall be spared.
D. So the Lord today makes special promises to you if you will but put your trust in Him.
1. He will deliver you in the day of judgment from the power of sin, and it's consequences.
2. He will deliver you from the hand of the enemy. Satan can no longer control your life.
3. You will not perish, but have everlasting life.
E. Notice again what God said in Psalm 91
concerning the person that has set his love on God. "I will deliver him, I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I've proved Him ore and ore.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,
Oh for grace, to trust Him more.