DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
Dial (205) 825-9633 a few minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
P.S. REMEMBER, DON'T ANNOUNCE YOURSELF AFTER THE START TIME AND PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!
A vital witness in scripture is the role of social justice. The Bible is filled with stories of persons who acted to change the course of wrong regardless of what the wrong may have been.
In this lesson the action comes from a most unlikely source. Ebedmelech is an immigrant and outsider living in Judah. But he is not a man that is afraid to speak out against what he believes to be wrong. Ebedmelech provides a witness from a person of color in scripture who comes from the land of Cush on the continent of Africa.
What Ebedmelech choose to speak out about is the mistreatment of the prophet Jeremiah. Ebedmelech the foreigner tells the king the truth that Jeremiah did not deserve to be put in prison and his life placed in danger for telling the truth about the nation. Jeremiah had informed Judah that they would be driven into exile by a foreign power because of their idolatry and because of their abuse of the poor.
The king, however, preferred to listen to those who told him that Jeremiah was a threat to national security and should be put away. The king believed it would be a lot easier to get rid of Jeremiah than for the nation to change and become more just in its dealings with one another.
Ebedmelech would not remain silent and dared to speak up.
The voice of a single man was enough for the king to change his mind and spare Jeremiah. However, for the prophet to survive it would require additional work on Ebedmelech's part. He also took a group of men with him and acquired the necessary resources to recuse Jeremiah.
It is not always enough just to be willing to speak up. Sometimes what we need are those who will speak up and take the necessary action to bring the justice sought into being.
Ebedmelech is an African in the mold of other persons of color who would follow him and who were willing to speak up and take action. Persons like Medgar Evers, Reginald Hawkins and Clara Hawkins Jones. Our own Mrs. Jones—who recently passed--not only told young people what was possible in life but she helped them to achieve it through music, scholarships, sponsorship and a host of actions that gave them the confidence to produce even a sitting judge.
May the tribe of all those who work for justice grow so there will always be someone who will stand for justice.