LOOKING at our LIFE from GOD’s PERSPECTIVE: "If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?" (Jer 12:5)
Along with many of the Old Testament saints, the prophet Jeremiah too faces the problem of the prosperity of the wicked. In Jeremiah 12:1-4, he asks why the Lord, who is Himself righteous, allows the wicked to prosper — such as the men of Anathoth — and permits the righteous, like himself, to suffer. However, instead of promising Jeremiah better days ahead, God describes the prophet’s present unbearable conditions as only a foretaste of worse experiences to come. A metaphor of athletic strength is used to show the prophet that his struggle has just begun.
God’s response to Jeremiah’s question (v. 4) comes in the form of two metaphorical questions. The first metaphor, of foot racing, was designed to teach Jeremiah that the obstacles he faced in his hometown were meager compared to those he would encounter before the kings of Judah and Babylon (the horses). The second metaphor, of peace, was designed to remind the prophet of the impending turmoil he would have to endure in proclaiming the message of judgment to an unrepentant leadership. The relatively peaceful setting of Anathoth, with its minor opposition from treacherous family members, served to prepare Jeremiah to struggle against greater antagonists. Thus, God was saying to Jeremiah, “The worst is yet to come. Do not give up now.”
God’s answer helped to prepare Jeremiah for the trials ahead. Serving God is a blessed privilege, but it is also a difficult task; and it gets more and more difficult. Jeremiah would go from racing with men to racing with horses, from a land of peace to the thickets of the Jordan. This is the only way we too can mature in life and service.
It is helpful for us to look at our life from a bigger picture and from God’s perspective. We need to remember that living for God in this life will not always be easy. We must be prepared for obstacles and trials. Our Lord Jesus Himself has warned us ahead of time that living for God in the midst of a wicked generation is not easy. However, He has already gone through such trials and even more, and have come out triumphant (Hebrews 4:15). This is what He has promised us: "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b)
Let us trust in God and put our faith in Him alone. This will only get us the victory in the end. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5)