Racing Men and Horses
Mighty God, Your power is wondrous. You make newness, defeat death, and give life. I offer praise and worship to You.
Consider: "When God tells you he will walk through something with you it means you will have all you need--peace is there, strength is there, grace is there, love is there, because he is there" (Roy Lessin). This was a lesson Jeremiah had to learn and a lesson we need to learn.
It was no fun being a faithful prophet--Jeremiah was having a tough time. Not only were people ignoring him and his God-given message, but God himself did not seem to help. Why then were the wicked prospering? (1). Even the religious ones were insincere--having the right language but not the life (2). God's apparent inaction led them to claim that God had gone blind and deaf (4), so they could live as they pleased. Jeremiah, appealing to God's righteousness and justice (1), urges God to take action (3,4).
God replies that the prophet needs patient endurance. If he is out of breath racing footmen, how was he going to run with the horses (5)? Worse things are coming and he needs resilience. God reveals that Jeremiah's own family was plotting against him (6). Jeremiah was to lean on God who has perfect resilience--that would one day "give the one I love" (Jesus) into the hands of enemies (7). God will go to any length to fulfill his purposes; he does not blink or hesitate and he knows what he is doing. He will judge the wicked. Judah and her neighbors will be disciplined.
God reveals his mercy even in judgment (Hab. 3:2). After being uprooted, the surrounding nations will receive compassion (15). Though they had taught God's people the bad habits of idolatry, if they repent, they would receive God's blessings (16). God's apparent inaction today in the face of growing evil and ungodliness and the erosion of eternal truth and values should not be misunderstood as divine tolerance of evil or inability to act. God sees, hears and will act. In his delayed actions, we discern mercy (2 Pet. 3:9). We must not lose heart or hope--but faithfully pray to God who is righteous, just and merciful.
How would you describe your life: are you, "on foot...competing with horses" or are you, "...stumbling in safe country" (5)? How do you prepare for tough times? Are you preparing for tough times?
God of all seasons, equip me with all I need for the ups and downs of life. May I learn the lessons I need to live joyfully for You.
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