“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses?...”
In the opening verses of Jeremiah 12, the weeping prophet had grown impatient with God because of His patience. God had repeatedly spoken judgment on Judah through Jeremiah, but alas, because God is so incredibly gracious, He hadn’t unleashed His judgments on the people. Jeremiah began, it seems, to wonder why. He may have even wondered if God ever intended to execute judgment on Judah.
Beginning in 12:5 God answers Jeremiah’s impatience. Before the chapter is over, God again spoke of impending judgment, but God begins in (v.5) challenging Jeremiah about the weakness of his faith in God. We all need that same challenge from time to time. If we cannot remain faithful when things are relatively easy, how shall we expect to fare if and when the going gets tough?
This question is particularly important for American Christians in our day and age. Compared to most of the world, we have it so easy! Believers in other places face daily persecution for a faith for which we face none. And yet our faith wavers. Our spiritual tottering and frequent complaining, in the face of even the most benign difficulties, should cause us to wonder how we shall survive if the spiritual bubble in which we live, pops!
“Dear Lord let us learn to be strong while it is easy to be strong so we will know how to be strong if & when we find ourselves stripped of our affluence and baptized into persecution. And as Judah was warned to repent time and again, but didn’t, let us not think that we can claim Christ’s name, while living worldly lives—and survive if Your patience with us wears out.”