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I was having a conversation with a friend the other day that got me thinking. She said, “I see that this is wrong, and I always wonder what will happen if I don’t speak up. I don’t want to be bothered by my thoughts in thinking I should have done something to help this situation.” How courageous are we really? How bold are we? How integritous are we? Are we doing right and good in an unpopular situation? Are we showing compassion to those in need?

integrity2Jeremiah 38:1-13 – Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, 2 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’ 3 And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’”

4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death.He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”

5 “He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”

6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.

7 But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite, an official in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him,9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

11 So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.

integrity3There was a downside to being a prophet to the nations in Jeremiah’s case, much like there is a downside to speaking truth today. The people we are speaking to today have the same mindset as those in his day. “It’s alright to worship God as long as we can continue to do whatever the heck we want to do.” People continually create their own truth as to what is right and wrong as the Word of God gets thrown out the window. What a hard group of people to be sharing with…stubborn in all their ways. Like most of us today, I’m sure Jeremiah just wanted to be liked…just for a day. But he wasn’t. He was speaking TRUTH and being ridiculed for it. Sometimes those living in darkness only want to hear what is pleasing to their ears. So into the pit goes Jeremiah.

Soon after, the man of integrity comes on the scene, a man placed in the right time at the right place for the right reason, knowing full well that his very life will be called into question for his boldness in approaching the horrible king of darkness that ruled that city. He set aside his own safety in order to act with compassion on his fallen brother. He was a man who TRUSTED in the LORD. Sometimes we must be willing to speak up in order to give someone else courage to do the right thing. Trust God in enabling you to stand for something good today! Be integritous!!

integrity1You can read Jeremiah 36-39 about Jeremiah’s call and his prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jeremiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

2 Timothy 4:16-18 – 16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Do not be afraid to speak for what is right! God will protect you always! He will give us the courage to be men and women of integrity, honor, righteousness. He always gives us strength to do the next right thing or what He has commanded us to do. Sometimes, though, we must step out in faith and believe before we see!

Related Scriptures: Galatians 6:10; Acts 7:60; Joshua 1:7