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12
Jeremiah Complains to the Lord
1Whenever I complain
to you, Lord,
you are always fair.
But now I have questions
about your justice.
Why is life easy for sinners?
Why are they successful?
2You plant them like trees;
you let them prosper
and produce fruit.
Yet even when they praise you,
they don't mean it.
3But you know, Lord,
how faithful I've always been,
even in my thoughts.
So drag my enemies away
and butcher them like sheep!
4How long will the ground be dry
and the pasturelands parched?
The birds and animals
are dead and gone.
And all of this happened because
the people are so sinful.
They even brag, “God can't see
the sins we commit.”#12.4 God can't see the sins we commit: One ancient translation; Hebrew “He won't live to see what happens to us.”
The Lord Answers Jeremiah
5Jeremiah, if you get tired
in a race against people,
how can you possibly run
against horses?
If you fall in open fields,
what will happen in the forest
along the Jordan River?
6Even your own family
has turned against you.
They act friendly,
but don't trust them.
They're out to get you,
and so is everyone else.
The Lord Is Furious with His People
7I loved my people and chose them
as my very own.
But now I will reject them
and hand them over
to their enemies.
8My people have turned against me
and roar at me like lions.
That's why I hate them.
9My people are like a hawk
surrounded and attacked
by other hawks.#12.9 My people … other hawks: Or “My land has become a hyena's den with vultures circling above.”
Tell the wild animals
to come and eat their fill.
10My beautiful land is ruined
like a field or a vineyard
trampled by shepherds
and stripped bare
by their flocks.
11Every field I see lies barren,
and no one cares.
12A destroying army
marches along desert roads
and attacks everywhere.
They are my deadly sword;
no one is safe from them.
13My people, you planted wheat,
but because I was furious,
I let only weeds grow.
You wore yourselves out
and gained only shame!
The Lord Will Have Pity on Other Nations
14The Lord said:
I gave this land to my people Israel, but enemies around it have attacked and robbed it. So I will uproot them from their own countries just as I will uproot Judah from its land. 15But later, I will have pity on these nations and bring them back to their own lands. 16They once taught my people to worship Baal. But if they admit I am the only true God, and if they let my people teach them how to worship me, these nations will also become my people. 17However, if they don't listen to me, I will uproot them from their lands and completely destroy them. I, the Lord, have spoken.