Today: [Jeremiah 39] Are You an Ebedmelech? In this chapter king Zedekiah finally flees the city but is taken by the Babylonians. Horrifically he sees his sons slain before his eyes and he is then blinded and taken to Babylon in chains. In the midst of this Jeremiah is set free and the king’s eunuch who interceded for him with Zedekiah for his life now fears for his own. What will become of him? He will be spared. His attitude of deference and honor toward the unpopular prophet Jeremiah now results in his life being spared.
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[Jer 39:1-18 KJV] 1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. 2 [And] in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth [day] of the month, the city was broken up. 3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, [even] Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon. 4 And it came to pass, [that] when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain. 5 But the Chaldeans’ army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him. 6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained. 10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
In verses 1-2 of our chapter today we see a 3 year siege is laid against the city of Jerusalem. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign the city is breached and the Chaldeans sit in the gate of the city to show they now have control of Jerusalem. Zedekiah sees the walls are penetrated and flees with the remnants of his army. The Chaldeans pursue after him and take him in the plains of Jericho. When the king leaves the city it marks the end of the dynasty of king David. For centuries from Solomon’s son Rehoboam to Zedekiah the kings of Judah have largely rejected the God of their fathers and gone after the idols of Baal, Ashteroth, Chemosh and Molech. It is a great misfortune now that the mercies of David have been so scorned by the people and their leaders that they are expelled from the city of Promise and are on the run from the Babylonians. Were it not for a very small remnant of David’s bloodline already in Babylonian captivity – the sacred promise of God to bring forth a messiah from the loins of David would be extinguished. The darkness of this day can scarcely be exaggerated.
What connotation if any can we draw from this for ourselves? Is there any relevance to be found here for us other than noting these sad chapters as a sacred historical narrative? At this point we should look again at two obscure references to Babylon in the endtimes, found in the book of Revelation:
[Rev 14:8 KJV] 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
[Rev 18:2 KJV] 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Now ancient Babylon disappeared from history in the days of the Medes and the Persians. Therefore the reference to Babylon speaks to something contemporary to those that are being spoken of as living in the end of days. What is Mystery Babylon? Some believe that it referred to the might of Rome in John’s day that would soon be overthrown. Others have taught that the Medieval church, and the Catholic church itself is the Babylon of New Testament Reference. Others have taught that the European Common Market would rise to world dominance and become the Babylon of scripture. Still others claim that the United States is Mystery Babylon that provokes the nations to drink the wine of her economic fornications.
Without going into an in depth prophetic inquiry let us suffice to say that whatever Babylon is in our day it is a spirit that is alive and well and functioning in our midst and throughout the earth as an agent of Chaos, godlessness and confusion. The original Babylon was a group of people who came together to overthrown the purposes of God in the building of a great tower. God came down and confounded their languages so that their great project in the tower of Babel would come to failure. We have to think about that in our day. Nations seem incapable of coming together and making peace. Even within our nations different people groups clash and even when they try to make peace, find it impossible because they just simply do not “speak the same language…” We see this most prominently in the political systems of the earth. Elected officials of different parties have no interest in finding common ground, but of only defeating those who are not one of their own. They constantly spew a contaminated torrent of rhetoric at each other without any intention of stopping to listen to what the other party to the discourse might have to contribute. We can decry this confusion and chaos on the political and world scene – but is this the hand of God sparing us from much worse?
In Nimrod’s day, had he been able to accomplish the building of the tower of Babel – God Himself testified that it would result in an empire that would operate completely and totally without restraint. We can bemoan the contention and inability of the systems and peoples of our society to come into agreement but we should pause to realize that this may in fact be by the hand of God sparing us from a much, much worse fate. When have men ever came together for their betterment from a kingdom perspective? Yet at the same time we as the people of God have also been infected with the chaos that rules the earth. What was once the pristine, spiritual community of the early centuries of the church has devolved into a corrupt, politicized monstrosity of over 13,000 denominations, incapable of finding or even willing to seek common ground around the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is the answer? The hand of God portrayed in Rev. 14 and 18 that will come by a sovereign and destroy the Babylon systems of the earth and manifest the kingdom in a supernatural, global outpouring of the Spirit of God.
11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, 12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon’s princes; 14 Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people. 15 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 16 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. 17 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. 18 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.
True to the words of Jeremiah – the king is taken and his sons are slain before him. Having witnessed the death of his children, the king’s eyes are brutally put out and he is led to captivity, filled with anguish and hopelessness. The fate he has feared has come upon him and consumed his reign, his kingdom and his bloodline. From the time of Isaiah – a 100 years prior this day has been foretold. The prophets have cried out time and again against this judgment but the kings and the people refused to listen, continuing on in following after other gods. King Zedekiah is now going in chains to Babylon but remember! In his prison house is the prophet Jeremiah, starving, filthy, despairing even of life. The Babylonians free the prophet and command that whatever he might ask would be granted him along with his freedom.
Jeremiah is now free, but there is to be found no rejoicing in his heart. The walls are broken down. The king’s palace is burned with fire. A puppet governor by the name of Gedaliah is appointed over the pitiful, few, impoverished people left in the land of Judah. The great dream of a shining city overshadowed by the glory of God is now lost. God’s people are in captivity. They have not repented. They have not relinquished their false gods. Were it not for a godly remnant, now acclimating themselves to subjugation to the Babylonians, there would seem to be no hope.
In this midst of this sad day Jeremiah intercedes and prophesies over Ebedmelech – the Ethiopian who have risked his life to see Jeremiah spared. Ebedmelech was a eunuch in the king’s house that now burns with fire. He no doubt is held now in chains, and fears for his life – but Jeremiah intercedes for him now as Ebedmelech interceded for Jeremiah himself.
The man who showed kindness to Jeremiah at the risk of his life will now be spared himself. What of us today? As a eunuch – Ebedmelech could not contaminate himself with the fornications of the king of Judah. You may find yourself surrounded by the spirit of Babylon, even in the church but are you advocating for the Jeremiah’s in your midst that are speaking truth to power? Or are you sitting back letting events take their course because you don’t want to incur the displeasure of leaders who think they know better than God’s word itself – thus rejecting the prophets. There is a great Zedekiah spirit gripping the church today that causes leaders to turn a deaf ear to prophetic voices. Where do you stand? With the status quo? Or with the Jeremiah’s who are speaking up at the risk of being marginalized and ostracized by those who think the church is their personal domain? The answer to that question like the case of Ebedmelech, now spared – could make all the difference in what happens next in your life. midst of this Jeremiah is set free and the king’s eunuch who interceded for him with Zedekiah for his life now fears for his own. What will become of him? He will be spared. His attitude of deference and honor toward the unpopular prophet Jeremiah now results in his life being spared.
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