It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself.
Just ask Jeremiah the prophet.
Jeremiah lived in the most turbulent time in the history of Judah and Jerusalem. His time of ministry saw repeated attacks against the nation. Near the conclusion of his ministry, Judah fell to the Babylonians. The nation and its capital were captured and destroyed.
Jeremiah watched the breaking down of the city walls and the burning of God’s Temple.
In those times, God called Jeremiah to speak to kings and nations. God told Jeremiah not to be intimidated by the times or by opposition.
Jeremiah, with a quiet and timid personality, struggled to proclaim God’s message.
Jeremiah’s friends and family turned against him, and Jeremiah turned to self-pity. Jeremiah even complained against God (Jeremiah 11:18-23).
Even the men of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown, wanted to take his life
At that point, God answered Jeremiah with unusual words. “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you fall down, how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5).
These words seem very strange.
God had called Jeremiah to be His special messenger. God had prepared the prophet to speak the Word of God in the most perilous times.
If Jeremiah couldn’t handle the beginning of the struggle, how could he handle the siege of Jerusalem and the coming of the Babylonian army? If he couldn’t handle running with other men, how could he race with horses?
The thicket of the Jordan River was renowned for its difficulty. Lions roamed the forest and the vegetation seemed to consume people. If Jeremiah stumbled on flat land, what would he do in the jungle?
This passage seems to reflect how God jolted Jeremiah back to reality.
Self-pity must be dealt with severely. Our self-pity will consume us unless we deal with it decisively.
While it may seem harsh, God lovingly helped the prophet get out of his pity and into obedience to his call to serve God.
What will you do to overcome your destructive tendencies?
Tomorrow, the post will concern how to deal with your self-pity and overcome it.
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