Jeremiah Complains to the LORD 12 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.”[S] 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.[T] 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.
Contemporary English Version / ©1995 American Bible Society About