Jeremiah 38:6 AMP So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down [into the cistern] with ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
Lamentations 3:53-57 AMP They silenced me in the pit And placed a stone over me. The waters ran down on my head; I said, “I am cut off (destroyed)!” I called on Your name, O Lord , Out of the lowest pit. You have heard my voice, “Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, From my cry for help.” You drew near on the day I called to You; You said, “Do not fear.”
Back then, cisterns were about 6-10 feet wide and 7-12 feet deep. They would be filled with water from rainfall during the rainy season and covered with a big stone so they would have water during the dry seasons.These cisterns were not always used as wells but would also be used as underground chambers, hiding places for criminals, burial places, and prisons.
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet because of all of his prophecies of God’s wrath and punishment. No one wanted to hear what he would have to say. He told the city of Jerusalem that Babylon was coming and if they did not surrender, they would die. The court officials asked the king to put him to death because he keeps “discouraging the people with his words”. The king told them they could so what they please with him.
So this is where our text comes in. They lowered him down into this cistern and the cistern didn’t even have water in it, it was full of mud. Scholars say the mud was probably 3-4 feet. So when he was let down into this cistern, the bible says he sank down into the mud. That’s probably about up to his chest.
To make matters worse, back then when they lowered someone down in the pit like that, the ropes would go under the armpits and around the back. So as they lowered you, the rope would dig into your armpits and your back leaving blisters and burns.
So Jeremiah was blistered up, stuck deep in the mud, and had no way out because the top of the cistern was well above his head and it was most likely covered by a large stone.
So Jeremiah did what he does best. He cried out to God. This is where lamentations comes in. He cried out to God and said I have been cut off. They have put me in this pit. Don’t turn your ear from my cry. And then God replies with “Fear not”.
What Jeremiah did not know is that there was an eunuch in the king’s palace who heard about what they had done to Jeremiah. He went to the king and pleaded to him to let Jeremiah out because he would die in that cistern. The king told the eunuch to take 30 men with him and get Jeremiah out of the cistern.
While Jeremiah was in the cistern, God didn’t tell him that He had a plan. He didn’t tell Jeremiah that He was already sending someone to get him out of that cistern. He only said “Fear not”.
Kind of like Jonah in the fish. Jonah cried out to God and God didnt even say anything to Him. But He did move on his behalf and delievered him out of the fish.
God does that to us sometimes. When our situations feel hopeless and out of our control, we cry out to God “Why?? How are you going to fix this? What is going to happen next? How is our bills going to get paid? Where is the solution going to come from?” Sometimes we don’t get an answer but He is always saying “Fear not”.
He doesn’t always give us an answer or reason why. He just says don’t fear. Lickily for us though, He left us many scriptures that say fear not and a reason why not to fear:
Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 KJV
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Isaiah 35:4 KJV
And the Lord , he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 KJV
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13 KJV
Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; Isaiah 43:5 KJV
According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. Haggai 2:5 KJV
When God told Jeremiah “Fear not”. That was like Him saying “I know where you are. I know you are in a helpless situation but you have no reason to fear because I am in full control”.
When the 30 men came to Jeremiah, they brought a bunch of old rags and Jeremiah placed the rags under his arm pits and then they lowered the rope down. So when they pulled him up, the ropes were not making his burns and blisters worse but were padded and comforted by the rags.
God tells you to fear not while He’s moving on your behalf. Not only will He move on your situation but He will bandage you. He loves to say to His people fear not and then come through and He pulls us out and He bandages us up.
And whatever it is that is causing you to question God why or how, just remember that answer is not the source you need to be fully satisfied. God is the source through His provision. So in those moments of hurt, waiting, needing, whatever it is. Trust Him. He is already moving on your behalf. He is the full source of your provision. He is your peace. He is your strength. He is your provider. He knows where you are at and He is moving for you even if you can’t see it.
I like to tell myself “If God isn’t worried about it, then I’m not going to worry about it”.
There was this man who was an austronomer. He had been studying the constellations and is just in awe by the stars and planets. He heard of a meteorshower that would be taking place right in his backyard late at night. So he set his alarm for 2 am. He goes to bed, his alarm goes off, and he runs outside only to find a very cloudy night. He spoke to God and said “Wow. God you are putting on a wonderdul display behind those clouds. You are moving in a beautiful way, I just can’t see it.