Rags and Ropes SERIES – Set Up to Win!

Jeremiah 38:1-13 NIV
1 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son
of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said,
2 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but
whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. He will escape with his life; he will live.’
3 And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of
Babylon, who will capture it.'”
4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers
who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not
seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”
5 “He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”
6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the
courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only
mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.
7 But Ebed-Melech, 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,
8 Ebed-Melech went out of the palace and said to him,
9 “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.”
10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift
Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”
11 So Ebed-Melech 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.
12 Ebed-Melech the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your
arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so,
13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in
the courtyard of the guard.
“The number one way the racial wealth gap is maintained today is not simply by what whites do to
blacks but what whites do for each other in which blacks are excluded.”
Nancy DiTomaso
There is a difference between institutions that serve blacks and Black institutions. Black institutions
reflect Black culture, concerns and control.

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