HEROES, GREAT AND SMALL
READ: Jeremiah 38: 6-13, 39: 15-18
“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one
of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 39:45 (NIV)
When we read the accounts of the great heroes of our faith such as, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul and others, we sometimes question the value of what we have to offer. However, an incidental encounter with an obscure biblical character like Ebel-melech helps to renew one’s faith in being able to make a difference by our small and seemingly unimportant deeds to provide a taste of His kingdom in our materialistic world.
The prophet Jeremiah was being held prisoner in a deep cistern. Ebel-melech would have been considered a hero just for arranging Jeremiah’s rescue by pulling him up with ropes out of the cistern. But Ebel-melech thought about Jeremiah’s situation and reflected on his immediate needs. Therefore, he devised a method of rescue that would be relatively pain-free for the imprisoned prophet.
Old rags and worn-out clothes would supply the cushion for under his arms and protect Jeremiah from possible injury. Ebel-melech took the time to do a little more than necessary to provide for Jeremiah in a practical way.
Maybe that is the message that comes to us three thousand years later to do that bit extra to provide for people in need. Even though we will never be another Moses or a Paul, it is not really necessary to do so as God has already has had a Moses and a Paul. What He really seems to need is for each one of us to carry out His acts of mercy in our everyday life and provide evidence that He still lives in and through us.