“But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the LORD, “and you shall not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 39:17-18 NASB)
This happened when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem. For three years the Babylonians had surrounded the city. When they were finally able to breach the city walls, thousands were slaughtered, Solomon’s Temple was destroyed, its treasure taken as ransom, King Zedekiah’s eyes were gouged out, his children killed, and he was taken captive along with most of Jerusalem’s residents. But for Jeremiah, we have this strange account:
Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: “Take him and look after him; don’t harm him but do for him whatever he asks.” (Jer 39:11-12)
Look after him. We are not told why Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would have such high regard for Jeremiah. A pagan king. A Jewish prophet. Jeremiah was protected. And this during the most tumultuous events in the history of the tiny nation of Judah. Thousands were slaughtered, the city burned, the temple destroyed, the people exiled.
God’s servants have always enjoyed divine protection as they faithfully do God’s work in the world. No harm shall befall them as they accomplish their divine appointments until that day when called into God’s presence they will hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And this assurance of divine protection accompanies his servants wherever they may go, in whatever circumstances they may find themselves. The God who overshadows us under his mighty wings shall not allow harm to us. That is why David can say, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.”
When you are cognizant of a divine call, a commission by God to accomplish his divine purposes in this world, it does not mean that things will be easy; but that despite the difficulties and hardships of ministry, God will be there, faithfully protecting us through the storms of life. May we in turn confidently set about the work of ministry!