I’m a rope, my wife is a rag. Yes, I know that may not seem very flattering to say. Let me explain.
I know this after listening to a sermon by Dwayne Cline from Hughson Street Baptist Church in Hamilton. Dwayne was preaching on a passage from Jeremiah 38:1-13 about the very little known Ebed-Melek. The central message was about serving, which Ebed-Melek did well.
Ebed-Melek may be the most obscure person in the Bible. His name means servant of the king. In fact it may not be his name, but a title. He’s a foreigner, a Cushite (likely Ethiopia) with no rights, no power, no authority and likely a eunuch.
Ebed-Melek listens to God, approaches the king and rescues Jeremiah after he was thrown into a pit. Taking his own life into his own hands. The king assigns him 30 men to go with him because he will need protection. He took ropes to get him out and rags to make sure he wasn’t hurt. Ropes equal logistics and help. Rags equal compassion to people.
There is a story behind each life that shows up at our ministries, a mess that only Jesus can clean up. People need more than ropes, they need compassion. Jesus our king became a servant and died on the cross, raised the third day to put our feet on a rock and song on our lips.
We come with ropes and rags in the name of Jesus. We serve together in Jesus’ name because we cannot do it alone. More people come along side as we walk alongside people. At the end of Jeremiah 39, Ebed-Melek will be rescued because he believed God. God will do whatever it takes to call us and cause us to be Christ-like.