O Lord, even if I would argue my case with you, you would always be right. Yet, I want to talk to you about your justice. Why do wicked people succeed? Why do treacherous people have peace and quiet? 2 You plant them, and they take root. They grow, and they produce fruit. They speak well of you with their lips, but their hearts are far from you. 3 You know me, O Lord. You see me and test my devotion to you. Drag them away like sheep to be slaughtered. Prepare them for the day of slaughter. 4 How long will the land mourn? How long will the plants in every field remain dried up? The animals and the birds are dying, because people are wicked. They think that God[a] doesn’t know what they are doing.
The Lord’s Reply
5 “If you have raced against others on foot, and they have tired you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in open country, how can you live in the jungle along the Jordan River? 6 Even your relatives and members of your father’s household betray you. They have also formed a mob to find you. Don’t trust them when they say good things about you.
7 “I have abandoned my nation. I have left my own people. I have handed the people I love over to their enemies. 8 My people have turned on me like a lion in the forest. They roar at me, so I hate them. 9 My people are like a colorful bird of prey. Other birds of prey surround it. Go, gather all the animals in the field, and bring them to devour it. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard. They’ve trampled my property. They’ve turned my pleasant property into a wasteland. 11 They’ve left it a wasteland. Devastated, it mourns in my presence. The whole land is destroyed, but no one takes this to heart. 12 Looters swarm all over the bare hills in the desert. The Lord’s sword destroys them from one end of the land to the other. No one will be safe. 13 My people planted wheat, but they harvested thorns. They worked until they became sick, but they gained nothing by it. They were disappointed by their harvests because of the burning anger of the Lord.
14 “This is what I, the Lord, say about all my evil neighbors who take the inheritance that I gave my people Israel: I am going to uproot those neighbors from their lands. I will also uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 After I’ve uprooted them, I will have compassion on them again. I will return them to their inheritance and to their lands. 16 Suppose they learn carefully the ways of my people. Suppose they take an oath in my name, ‘As the Lord lives . . .’ as they taught my people to take an oath in the name of Baal. Then they will build homes among my people. 17 But suppose they don’t listen. Then I will uproot that nation and destroy it,” declares the Lord.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!