Jeremiah's Prayer

1 1Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would 2discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the 3way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who 4deal in treachery at ease?
2 You have 5planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. You are 6near to their lips But far from their mind.
3 But You 7know me, O LORD; You see me; And You 8examine my heart's attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a 9day of carnage!
4 How long * is the 10land to mourn And the 11vegetation of the countryside * to wither? For the 12wickedness of those who dwell in it, 13Animals and birds have been snatched away, Because men have said, "He will not see our latter 14ending."
5 "If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the 15thicket of the Jordan?
6 "For even your 16brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say 17nice things to you."

God's Answer

7 "I have 18forsaken My house, I have abandoned My inheritance; I have given the 19beloved of My soul Into the hand of her enemies.
8 "My inheritance has become to Me Like a lion in the forest; She has 20roared * against Me; Therefore * I have come to 21hate her.
9 "Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me? Are the 22birds of prey against her on every side? Go, gather all the 23beasts of the field, Bring them to devour!
11 "It has been made a desolation, Desolate, it 28mourns before Me; The 29whole land has been made desolate, Because no man 30lays it to heart.
12 "On all the 31bare heights in the wilderness Destroyers have come, For a 32sword of the LORD is devouring From one end of the land even to the other *; There is 33no peace for anyone *.
13 "They have 34sown wheat and have reaped thorns, They have 35strained themselves to no profit. But be ashamed of your 36harvest Because of the 37fierce anger of the LORD."
14 Thus says the LORD concerning all My 38wicked neighbors who 39strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, "Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will 40uproot the house of Judah from among them.
15 "And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will 41again have compassion on them; and I will 42bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land.
16 "Then if they will really 43learn the ways of My people, to 44swear by My name, 'As the LORD lives,' even as they taught My people to 45swear by Baal, they will be 46built up in the midst of My people.
17 "But if they will not listen, then I will 47uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD.