Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah’s Complaint

1You will be righteous, Lord,

even if I bring a case against you.

Yet, I wish to contend with you:

Why does the way of the wicked prosper?

Why do all the treacherous live at ease?

2You planted them, and they have taken root.

They have grown and produced fruit.

You are ever on their lips,

but far from their conscience.

3As for you, Lord, you know me; you see me.

You test whether my heart is with you.

Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter

and set them apart for the day of killing.

4How long will the land mourn

and the grass of every field wither?

Because of the evil of its residents,

animals and birds have been swept away,

for the people have said,

“He cannot see what our end will be.”

The Lord’s Response

5If you have raced with runners

and they have worn you out,

how can you compete with horses?

If you stumble in a peaceful land,

what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?

6Even your brothers — your own father’s family —

even they were treacherous to you;

even they have cried out loudly after you.

Do not have confidence in them,

though they speak well of you.

7I have abandoned my house;

I have deserted my inheritance.

I have handed the love of my life

over to her enemies.

8My inheritance has behaved toward me

like a lion in the forest.

She has roared against me.

Therefore, I hate her.

9Is my inheritance like a hyena to me?

Are birds of prey circling her?

Go, gather all the wild animals;

bring them to devour her.

10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;

they have trampled my plot of land.

They have turned my desirable plot

into a desolate wasteland.

11They have made it a desolation.

It mourns, desolate, before me.

All the land is desolate,

but no one takes it to heart.

12Over all the barren heights in the wilderness

the destroyers have come,

for the Lord has a sword that devours

from one end of the earth to the other.

No one has peace.

13They have sown wheat but harvested thorns.

They have exhausted themselves but have no profit.

Be put to shame by your harvests

because of the Lord’s burning anger.

14This is what the Lord says: “Concerning all my evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to my people, Israel, I am about to uproot them from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from them. 15After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. 16If they will diligently learn the ways of my people — to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Baal — they will be built up among my people. 17However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.