Jeremiah 38: the Mud-Tank, the Pandemic and God’s faithfulness.
What could the longest and most depressing book in the Bible possibly have to say to us today?
Given the times we are living through (and starting to emerge from), it is hardly surprising that this story in Jeremiah 38 (from this Sunday’s Morning Prayer readings) is able to speak to us across 26 centuries. Jerusalem is under threat by the Babylonians, is about to fall and its people taken into exile. Jeremiah’s unwelcome advice to the failing leaders of Jerusalem results in him being put in a cistern full of mud so he would starve to death.
This is a story of Jeremiah’s world & country falling apart around him. It is a story of Jeremiah having to contemplate his own death in a dark and entirely isolated setting. It is also the story of the current pandemic and our own feelings of abandonment by God. However, Jeremiah is rescued from his gloomy isolation in the cistern by someone filled with God’s compassion, and the country ultimately returns out of exile in Babylon to restore the city and the nation.
This is a story of hope-in-adversity for ourselves, our closest ones and our world, based on God’s great faithfulness. Praise the Lord!