12 Whenever 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? 2 You plant them like trees; you let them prosper and produce fruit. Yet even when they praise you, they don’t mean it.
3 But you know, Lord, how faithful I’ve always been, even in my thoughts. So drag my enemies away and butcher them like sheep!
4 How 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.”[a]
The Lord Answers Jeremiah
5 Jeremiah, 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? 6 Even 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
7 I loved my people and chose them as my very own. But now I will reject them and hand them over to their enemies. 8 My people have turned against me and roar at me like lions. That’s why I hate them.
9 My people are like a hawk surrounded and attacked by other hawks.[b] Tell the wild animals to come and eat their fill. 10 My beautiful land is ruined like a field or a vineyard trampled by shepherds and stripped bare by their flocks. 11 Every field I see lies barren, and no one cares.
12 A destroying army marches along desert roads and attacks everywhere. They are my deadly sword; no one is safe from them.
13 My people, you planted wheat, but because I was furious, I let only weeds grow. You wore yourselves out for nothing!
The Lord Will Have Pity on Other Nations
14 The 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. 15 But later, I will have pity on these nations and bring them back to their own lands. 16 They 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. 17 However, if they don’t listen to me, I will uproot them from their lands and completely destroy them. I, the Lord, have spoken.
12.4God can’t see the sins we commit: Or “Jeremiah won’t live to see what happens to us.”
12.9My people. . . other hawks: Or “My land has become a hyena’s den with vultures circling above.”
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