Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
The Destruction of Jerusalem
Ezekiel 8; Romans 1:22–25; Jeremiah 37:1–10; 38:1–6; Jeremiah 29:1–14; Daniel 9:2
December 5, 2015
Last week a one-year-old boy from India was playing with his five-year-old brother in a field near their home when he fell into an uncovered borehole. The “borewell”, as it is sometimes called, wasn’t producing any water, so the owner had taken off the case piping and left the hole uncovered. When the child fell into the open pipe, his brother tried to grab his foot, but was unsuccessful. He immediately told his father who alerted police.
A medical team lowered oxygen down to the trapped boy while rescue workers began digging parallel to the pipe. After 24 hours, they reached 35 feet and were able to enter the pipe below the child. Unfortunately, it was too late. Apparently, the one-year-old suffered head trauma. When the older brother saw the lifeless body of his young brother being removed, he was heartbroken and could not be comforted.1
The community where the accident occurred was outraged. People want the well owner to be arrested and punished. Others are pressing for stricter laws over abandoned wells. Some want heavy fines charged against lawbreakers. Local authorities immediately requested all owners of unused wells to cap them.
In our Sabbath school lesson this week, we read the story of someone else who fell into a well. Actually, it was most likely a cistern that didn’t have any water. When Jeremiah warned the king of Jerusalem’s coming destruction, the princes got angry and requested permission to toss the annoying prophet into pit that had nothing but foul mud in the bottom. The servant of God was dropped into the whole and sank into the mud.
Jeremiah was left to die of hunger and thirst. But God had a rescue plan for His faithful spokesman. One of the king’s influential eunuchs, an Ethiopian named Ebed-Melech, spoke on behalf of the prophet. The king relented and sent thirty men to lift the prisoner out of the hole in the dungeon. Fortunately, it was not too late. It took a lot of maneuvering to get Jeremiah unstuck. Ropes were lowered and rags were used under his armpits to pull him out of the suction of the thick mud.
Sad to say, the king and the majority of the community still resisted the messages of Jeremiah. They refused to submit to the king of Babylon and suffered horrendous consequences. Jerusalem fell and thousands were slaughtered while the rest were carried away into captivity.
It is incredible that after Jeremiah’s unjust time in the pit, he still presented a message of hope from heaven. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). Sometimes it is only when we are in our own pits, looking up, that we take God seriously.