August 18 (Daily reading: Jeremiah 38-40; Psalms 74, 79) We can be thankful that God is paying attention! When some enemies who wanted to kill Jeremiah complained to King Zedekiah about him, the king said, “He is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you” (38:5). They put him in a well, where he would have died if not for Ebed-Melech, an Ethiopian in the palace who went to the king to tell him about Jeremiah’s plight. This time the king said, “Take thirty men from here under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies” (38:10). Jeremiah’s welfare seemed to depend on the king’s wishy-washy nature. But God was paying attention, and He sent an obscure, unknown individual to the rescue. Thankfully, Ebed-Melech was not unknown to God, and Jeremiah sent word to him that when the invasion came, he would be protected because of his services to God’s prophet.
God was still paying attention when He directed King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to be merciful to Jeremiah. The king told the commander of his imperial guard to take care of the prophet. Under God’s watchful eye, the commander found Jeremiah “bound in chains among all the captives” (40:1, NIV). He was set free to go wherever he pleased. He was able to stay “among the people who were left in the land” (40:6). In all the confusion of that period when Jerusalem was burned and captives were taken, Jeremiah was perfectly safe because God was paying attention! We may take for granted that while we live upon this earth as God’s servants, obeying His word and doing His will, God knows our every situation. When things happen that seem to say that God has turned His back on us, we must not believe it for a moment. God is paying attention! Remember, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).
– Al Gary