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Jeremiah 12 and 13 | Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

Jeremiah 12 and 13 Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
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In this Daily Devotional on Jeremiah 12 and 13, we encounter more than just historical accounts; they serve as a mirror reflecting our own spiritual journey. As we delve into these chapters, we’re confronted not only with God’s complaint against Israel but also with a question that resonates through the ages: Does God have a complaint against us? Find how to stay the course with your relationship with God in Jeremiah 11.

Why do the Righteous Suffer and the Wicked Prosper?

In the reflections shared, we find echoes of personal struggles and insights into the divine dialogue between heaven and earth. Through the lens of one seeker’s journal entries, we glimpse the perennial human struggle to reconcile the prosperity of the wicked with the justice of a righteous God.

As we journey through these passages, let’s not merely skim the surface but instead, let’s dig deeper. Let’s unearth the timeless truths that pierce through the veil of our humanity, prompting us to examine our hearts and our ways before our Creator.

How Do You Pray When the Wicked Seem to be Winning?

In prayerful reflection, may we echo the plea of generations past, seeking refuge in the mercy and compassion of our God. Let’s turn our hearts towards Him, that we may walk in His ways and find renewal in His presence each day.

Jeremiah 12 and 13 are more of God’s complaints against Israel. Does God have a complaint against you? Please read or listen to the seventeen verses of Jeremiah 12 and the twenty-seven verses of Jeremiah 13.

Jeremiah 12 and 13 Commentary by Allen J. Huth

In 1991, concerning Jeremiah 12 and 13, I wrote in my personal Bible reading journal, “Hypocrisy. Thou art near to their lips but far from their minds. But Thou knowest me, O Lord. Thou see-est me and Thou dost examine my heart’s attitude toward all, referring to 12:3.” Concerning 12:15, I wrote, “He is a God of compassion.” Onto chapter 13, “Refuse to listen, walk in stubbornness of heart, go after other gods, become worthless in God’s eyes.” About 13:11, “What God wants: My people for praise and glory. Listen.” I continued, “God is God. He wants a people to love Him, listen to him, obey Him, worship Him, love Him, give Him glory. God help me be so.”

Skipping over 2004, and jumping to 2016, I wrote, “Jeremiah is not the only one who complains to God. We all do. We question God, plead our case before Him, and wonder why He doesn’t do what we want or think He should. God never answered Job, but He gives Jeremiah an answer in 12:5-17. He is fair and just. He judges His heritage, Israel and Judah, and every other nation that will not listen to him.”

I continued to write, “Pride separates us from God, causing us evil for being unwilling to listen to God. God gets mad, angry at us. Yes, even His own people. Repent. Jeremiah wants us to turn and give glory to God, but they and we do not.”

What is Jeremiah 12:1 About?

In 12:1, Jeremiah pleads his case before the Lord: “Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper?”

Jeremiah 12:7-8

God answers Jeremiah in verses 5 through the rest of chapter 12. So, why do the wicked prosper? Let’s look at verses 7- 8:

I have forsaken my house;
    I have abandoned my heritage;
I have given the beloved of my soul
    into the hands of her enemies . . .

My heritage (Israel and Jerusalem) has become to me
    like a lion in the forest;
she has lifted up her voice against me;
    therefore I hate her.

God Allows the Wicked to Prosper

Why do the wicked prosper? Because God allows them to. He uses the wicked to judge Israel, Judah, and us. Why do the wicked prosper? Let’s look at verse 14-17:

Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I 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. And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the Lord.”

Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

Because the Lord allows it. He used nations around Israel to judge Israel. Then He says, “I will restore Israel, and I could restore those nations that I have used for my purposes, if they listen to me. But, if they do not, I will destroy them as well.”

Prayer for Protection

Lord, we pray You would never need to use the wicked to discipline us. Place a hedge of protection around us, O God.

Help me keep my eyes focused on You so You would never have to raise up wickedness around me to get me back in step with You. Keep me in the palm of Your hand, Lord. Put a hedge of protection around my life. I ask, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

We invite you to watch the “Great News” video on this page and find out more about God’s love for you and how you can receive forgiveness and eternal life – today!

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The Prayer of Salvation

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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