S21P33 – Portraits of faith: Ebed-Melech
“But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the Lord.”
Faith in God develops in us a desire to chase after his holy characteristics. When we follow Jesus, we are drawn to his love and those who show it. We also desire to behave in that same loving manner ourselves. We chase his love and cannot get enough. We want more and more of it. The same can be said about God’s mercy, joy and faithfulness. In the case of Ebed-Melech, it was the justice of God that his faith caused him to seek and exhibit. It was this longing for justice that prompted him to lead the rescue of Jeremiah from certain death.
Jeremiah’s prophecies were bleak. They predicted punishment and destruction. When a plot to kill Jeremiah materialized after receiving the blessing of the king himself, only one man was willing to seek justice in the matter once he became aware of the plot. Edeb-Melech went straight to the king, and did so publicly, requesting the release of God’s great prophet. God’s favor surely rested over that exchange as the king changed his tune and dispatched a team to rescue Jeremiah. As a result of this act, Ebed-Melech showed his trust in God and gained God’s deliverance as a result.
Abed-Melech was a lone man seeking justice in an evil and unjust city. How else can we characterize a people who would seek to kill God’s prophet because they don’t like God’s word? When God, in his perfect justice, declared that He would punish this city, He spared the man who had the faith to stand alone for justice. He did not forget the one who placed his faith in the only just God and stood in the gap for his servant. Father, thank You that You are just in all your actions, and give us faith that seeks after that justice in the face of opposition from the unjust.