Jeremiah 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.”

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.

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.