Anathoth was Jeremiah’s hometown and the people in his hometown were threatening to kill him. He was a tree with fruit (Jeremiah 11:19). He was a real prophet and they wanted to kill him for the things he was saying, but the words he spoke were not his. They came from God. Even if they were successful in killing the messenger, they could never kill the message.
First, Jeremiah tells God how He’s always right, but then he complains to God about how HE does things. Why are sinners successful? Why do You let the wicked prosper? Why do they have it so easy? You are near in their mouths, but far from their hearts. Lord, you know my heart. You know I’m faithful to You, but yet You’re hard on me. You don’t let me get by with anything (Jeremiah 12:1-3, paraphrased). God waits until Jeremiah is finished speaking and asks, “If you have run with the footmen and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” You know what God was really saying to Jeremiah? Grow up, Jeremiah. That’s nothing compared to what’s about to happen. Those closest to you – your own family is about to turn on you. They will say nice things to you, but they are going to betray you (Jeremiah 12:6). If Jeremiah couldn’t handle this, how could he handle that?
God knows what lies ahead. Horses were coming and these horses (demons) were stronger and more powerful than the footmen. Jeremiah hadn’t seen nothing yet. He thought that this was a test, but little did he know he was just in training for the test. God was preparing him and making him ready for what was coming. In school, you can’t be promoted to the next grade or level until you pass the current level that you’re on. It’s the same way in life.
Every time Goliath came out, Saul’s army ran. All Goliath did was threaten them with words and intimidate them with his size (he was 9 feet and 9 inches). When David volunteered to kill Goliath, David’s brother who was in Saul’s army (and also a runner), got angry and told him to go back to the wilderness with his sheep. I don’t know if Eliab thought he was better than David because he fought on a battlefield while David was just a sheep keeper or because he was the eldest and David was youngest. Maybe he judged David based upon his size. Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature…for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (I Sam 16:7). Saul was king, but Eliab forgot God anointed David to be king. You see, David wasn’t like Jesus. Jesus was born King (Matthew 2:2). David had to learn how to become a king. Eliab tried to discourage David and make him feel bad, but that’s only because he didn’t understand what God was doing with his brother in the wilderness. If David had never defeated the lion and bear in the wilderness, he would have never defeated Goliath (I Samuel 17:34-37).
Do you really think that God would anoint you for something or give you something and there not be a test? You will never know how anointed you are until what’s outside of you challenges what’s inside of you, but don’t be afraid. What’s inside of you is greater. The anointing attracts attacks. Satan is not coming after just anybody. He comes after those who are a threat to him and his kingdom and he knows who are anointed to destroy his works. Unclean spirits recognized who Jesus was. You are the Son of God. Even the unclean spirit that was in the young girl knew who Paul and Silas were. These men are the servants of the most High God. But when the sons of Sceva attempted to cast out devils, the evil spirit asked, Who are you? How can Satan recognize God’s anointed? Because he was once anointed (Ezekiel 28:14). This is why he is angry. You have what he once had.
When Jezebel sought to take Elijah’s life, he ran and told God he had enough and he wanted to die. Don’t leave Him when He promised He would never leave you. If you give up when trouble comes or when you face adversity, that means your strength is small (Proverbs 24:10). The devil wants you to get discouraged. He wants you to quit. Build yourself in the word and through prayer. Become strong in His word. Stand on His word because His word will stand forever. God doesn’t want you to run from horses. He wants you to fight against them. And don’t be anxious about anything. When David was anointed king, he didn’t immediately go to the palace. He went right back to keeping sheep because it wasn’t his time yet. Let God use where you are to make you for where you are going.
There comes a time when you become weary in doing wrong (and that’s a good thing), but don’t be weary in doing what is right.