Jeremiah 12
1If I took you to court, LORD,
you would win.
But I still have questions about your justice.
Why do guilty persons enjoy success?
Why are evildoers so happy?
2You plant them, and they take root;
they flourish and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
but far from their hearts.
3Yet you, LORD, you know me.
You see me.
You can tell that I love you.#Or You test my heart.
So drag them away
and butcher them like sheep.
Prepare them for the slaughterhouse.
4How long will the land mourn
and the grass in the fields dry up?
The animals and birds are swept away
due to the evil of those in the land.
The people say,
"God doesn’t see what we’re up to!"
5If you have raced with people and are worn out,
how will you compete with horses?
If you fall down in an open field,#Or If you are at ease only when in a peaceful land
how will you survive in the forest along the Jordan?
6Even your relatives, your very family,
are planning to trap you.
They are out to get you.
So don’t trust them,
even if they appear to be on your side.
God’s lament over Judah’s destruction
7I have abandoned my house;
I have deserted my inheritance.
I have given the one I love
into the power of her enemies.
8My inheritance has turned against me
like a lion in the forest;
she growls at me;
therefore, I have rejected her.
9My inheritance has become
like a bird of prey,
surrounded and attacked.#Heb uncertain
Go, gather all the wild animals for the feast.
10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;
they have trampled down my field;
they have reduced my treasured field
to a desolate wilderness.
11They have devastated her;
desolate, she cries out to me in distress:
"The whole land is desolate,
and no one seems to care."
12Over all the desert roads
destroyers march;
for the sword of the LORD devours
from one end of the land to the other;
no one is safe.
13They have sown wheat and reaped weeds;
they have worn themselves out for nothing.
They will be ashamed of their#Or your harvest
on account of the LORD’s fierce anger.
14The LORD proclaims: The evil nations have seized the land#Or inheritance that I gave my people Israel. I’m going to dig them up from their own lands, and I will dig up the people of Judah from among them. 15And after I have dug them up, I will again have compassion on them and restore their inheritance and their land. 16And then, if they will learn the ways of my people, to make a solemn pledge in my name, "As the LORD lives," just as they once taught my people to swear to Baal, then they will be built up in the midst of my people. 17But if they don’t listen, I will dig up that nation; yes, I will dig up and destroy, declares the LORD.
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