Today’s Sermon: God Has No Favorite Persons.
Even in the Old Testament we see how God did not pick favorites. Though He chose to make himself predominantly known to the nation of Israel, we see God did not exclude individuals from other nations who trusted Him and turned to follow Him and do His will. We see this with people like Ruth who was originally from Moab, as well as Ebed Melek from our passage today.
In our text today, we have a man named Ebed Melek who was a “Cushite.” The land of Cush is what we now know today as Ethiopia. Ethiopia is an east African country and used to be known as “the land of Cush.”
Yet before Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonian army, God sends Jeremiah with a very special message just for Ebed Melek. He tells him “But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord, you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life because you trust me, declares the Lord.”
Ebed Melek showed how he trusted the Lord earlier on. When Jeremiah had been thrown into the cistern/well earlier on, Ebed Melek goes to the rescue!
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, Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, “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.” 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.” 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. 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, and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard. (Jeremiah 38:7-13)
We see how God used this man who honored and revered him to help Jeremiah the prophet. God later rewards him for his faithful act that demonstrates he was true to the Lord God.
The truth also is that God gladly accepts anyone from any nation, origin or background that chooses to love Him and have faith in Him. The Lord has no favorites in His kingdom and shows no partiality
As we see later on in Acts, Peter says “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
Acts 10:34-35 –
It is revealed to Peter very shortly prior that the Gospel needed to go out to those who were not just Jews but “Gentiles” (Non Jews, Non Israelites) as well.
We see how God loves people regardless of where they live in the world or what their background is, and that Jesus Christ came to bring hope not only to His people Israel but to other nations and people too!