Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah's Prayer

1Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You;

Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You:

Why has the way of the wicked prospered?

Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?

2You have planted them, they have also taken root;

They grow, they have even produced fruit.

You are near to their lips

But far from their mind.

3But You know me, O Lord;

You see me;

And You examine my heart's attitude toward You.

Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter

And set them apart for a day of carnage!

4How long is the land to mourn

And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?

For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,

Animals and birds have been snatched away,

Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”

5“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,

Then how can you compete with horses?

If you fall down in a land of peace,

How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

6“For even your brothers and the household of your father,

Even they have dealt treacherously with you,

Even they have cried aloud after you.

Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.”

God's Answer

7“I have forsaken My house,

I have abandoned My inheritance;

I have given the beloved of My soul

Into the hand of her enemies.

8“My inheritance has become to Me

Like a lion in the forest;

She has roared against Me;

Therefore I have come to hate her.

9“Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?

Are the birds of prey against her on every side?

Go, gather all the beasts of the field,

Bring them to devour!

10“Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard,

They have trampled down My field;

They have made My pleasant field

A desolate wilderness.

11“It has been made a desolation,

Desolate, it mourns before Me;

The whole land has been made desolate,

Because no man lays it to heart.

12“On all the bare heights in the wilderness

Destroyers have come,

For a sword of the Lord is devouring

From one end of the land even to the other;

There is no peace for anyone.

13“They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,

They have strained themselves to no profit.

But be ashamed of your harvest

Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

14Thus says the Lord concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them.

15“And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land.

16“Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,' even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people.

17“But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

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