LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. Now let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy?
You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips, but in their hearts they give you no credit at all.
But as for me, LORD, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like helpless sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered!
How long must this land weep? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. Yet the people say, "The LORD won't do anything!"
Then the LORD replied to me, "If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?
Even your own brothers, members of your own family, have turned on you. They have plotted, raising a cry against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak.
"I have abandoned my people, my special possession. I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies.
My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest, so I have treated them as though I hated them.
My chosen people have become as disgusting to me as a vulture. And indeed, they are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild beasts to pick their corpses clean!
"Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard, trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness.
They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares.
Destroying armies plunder the land. The sword of the LORD kills people from one end of the nation to the other. No one will escape!
My people have planted wheat but are harvesting thorns. They have worked hard, but it has done them no good. They will harvest a crop of shame, for the fierce anger of the LORD is upon them."
Now this is what the LORD says: "As for all the evil nations reaching out for the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands just as Judah will be uprooted from hers.
But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own inheritance.
And if these nations quickly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives' (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people.
But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)