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Jeremiah’s Question

12 You are right and good, O Lord, when I complain to You about my trouble. Yet I would like to talk with You about what is fair. Why does the way of the sinful go well? Why do all those who cannot be trusted have it so easy? You have planted them, and they have taken root. They grow and have given fruit. You are near on their lips but far from their heart. But You know me, O Lord. You see me. And You test how my heart is with You. Take them off like sheep to be killed. Set them apart for the day of killing. How long will the land be filled with sorrow? How long will the grass of every field dry up? For the sin of those who live in it, animals and birds have been taken away, because men have said, “He will not see what happens to us.”

God’s Answer

“If you have run with men on foot and they have made you tired, then how can you run as fast as horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do among all the trees beside the Jordan? For even your brothers and those of your father’s house have not been faithful to you. They have cried to you in a loud voice. Do not believe them, even if they say pleasing things to you.”

The Lord’s Sorrow for Israel

“I have left My house. I have left My chosen nation. I have given the loved one of My soul into the hand of those who hate her. My chosen nation has become to Me like a lion among the trees. She has raised her voice against Me, so I hate her. Is My chosen nation like a spot-covered, flesh-eating bird to Me? Are the flesh-eating birds against her on every side? Go, gather all the wild animals of the field, and bring them to eat. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed My grape-field. They have crushed My field under foot. They have turned My good field to an empty desert. 11 It has been laid waste. Destroyed and empty, it cries with sorrow before Me. The whole land has been laid waste, because no one cares. 12 On all the open hill-tops in the desert, destroyers have come. For the sword of the Lord destroys from one end of the land to the other. There is no peace for anyone. 13 They have planted grain and have gathered thorns. They have worked hard, but have nothing. Be ashamed of what you gather because of the burning anger of the Lord.”

Israel’s Neighbors

14 This is what the Lord says about all My sinful neighbors who take the gift I have given to My people Israel: “See, I am about to pull them up by the roots from their land. And I will pull up the people of Judah by the roots from among them. 15 But after I have pulled them up by the roots, I will have loving-pity on them again, and will bring them back. I will return each one to what he has been given and to his land. 16 Then if they will for sure learn the ways of My people, and promise by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught My people to promise by Baal, then they will be built up among My people. 17 But if they will not listen, then I will pull that nation up by the roots and destroy it,” says the Lord.

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