Jeremiah's Complaint

1 1Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. 2Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all 3who are treacherous thrive?
2 You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; 4you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.
3 5But you, O LORD, know me; 6you see me, and test my heart toward you. 7Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for 8the day of slaughter.
4 9How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? 10For the evil of those who dwell in it 11the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, "He will not see our latter end."

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

5 "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in 12the thicket of the Jordan?
6 For 13even your brothers and the house of your father, 14even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; 15do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you."
7 "I have forsaken my house; I have abandoned 16my heritage; I have given 17the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies.
8 18My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her.
9 Is 19my heritage to me like 20a hyena's lair? Are the 21birds of prey against her all around? Go, 22assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; 23they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation; desolate, 24it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, 25but no man lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights in the desert destroyers have come, for the sword of the LORD devours from one end of the land to the other; no flesh has peace.
13 26They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns; 27they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of theira harvests 28because of the fierce anger of the LORD."
14 Thus says the LORD concerning all 29my evil neighbors 30who touch the heritage that 31I have given my people Israel to inherit: "Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, 32and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land.
16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, 33to swear by my name, 'As the LORD lives,' even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, 34then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.
17 35But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the LORD."
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