Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah spoke to all the people, saying, “Yahweh says, ‘He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live. He will escape with his life and he will live.’ Yahweh says, ‘This city will surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will take it.’ ”
Then the princes said to the king, “Please let this man be put to death, because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them; for this man doesn’t seek the welfare of this people, but harm.”
Zedekiah the king said, “Behold, he is in your hand; for the king can’t do anything to oppose you.”
Then they took Jeremiah and threw him into the dungeon of Malchijah the king’s son, that was in the court of the guard. They let down Jeremiah with cords. In the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire.
It’s hard for me to complain about my problems as a Christian when I think about Jeremiah. He had just been given his freedom from a dungeon only to be forced into a muddy well. Wouldn’t he have been better off in the dungeon? I wonder if Jeremiah began to question his decision to ask the king to leave the dungeon? It’s hard to see how Jeremiah could have been happy about anything. Everyone hated him, he was starving, he was in a small space and sinking in mud to top it all off. Is this what it means to serve God? Would anyone decide to follow Jeremiah’s example? How could this be God’s will?
This is really hard to deal with don’t you think? God told Jeremiah to spend his life giving people a message that they wouldn’t receive. Then he told him to use his money to buy property that was going to be taken over by foreign invaders, and then allowed people to throw him into a mud hole to die. Have you ever felt like what God is doing doesn’t make any sense?
As I mentioned before, Jesus knew about these things and He actually told us what we should do in these circumstances. He told us to become extremely glad because these are the kind of things that happen to people that God intends to reward. As bad as things were at this low point in Jeremiah’s career, that fact was that things were going to become very, very good for him in the future. Thankfully, we get to read about that too. For now, we should practice thinking like Jesus told us to think. Let’s not think about the mud hole we are in, let’s consider what it means for our eternal future. Every minute we get closer to our eternal destiny and we can’t even begin to imagine how amazing it will be for us when we arrive.