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Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah tells the LORD about his troubles.

1 You always judge me in a good and fair way LORD,

when I tell you about my problems.

But I must ask you some questions.

Why do bad people have such an easy life?

Why does everything seem to happen in the way that pleases them?

Why do you help the people who do not obey you to be very comfortable?

2 They are like plants that you have planted. And they are growing.

They grow and they make fruit.

They talk about you a lot.

But they do not think about what you want them to do.

3 But you know me, LORD.

You watch me. And you judge the thoughts that I have about you.

Take those bad men away like animals to kill them!

Put them in a special place, ready to die.

4 The country has been dry for a long time.

The grass in every field is brown and dry.

The people who live in this country are bad.

So all the animals and birds have died.

It is even worse than that. People are saying,

‘He will not see what happens to us.’

God answers Jeremiah.

5 ‘You get very tired when you try to run faster than other men.

So you will never run faster than horses.

You fall over on flat fields.

So you will certainly fall near the River Jordan,

when you are among many trees and bushes.

6 Even your brothers and your own family

are against you.

They join in the attacks against you.

Do not believe them,

even when they speak kind words about you.’

12:6God is telling Jeremiah about the troubles that will come to him. Those things will happen because he is speaking God's words to the people.

7 ‘I will leave my house and I will go away.

And my people's country will be empty.

I will let their enemies take the people that I love.

8 The people that belong to me

are like a lion.

They are like a lion that is hiding in the trees.

They shout, ready to jump on me.

This is why I hate them.

9 The people that I chose are like a small bird.

Their enemies are like big birds. They will attack them and they will kill them.

Call to the wild animals

to come and to eat them!

10 My people are like a garden where soft plants grow.

But the men who keep the garden are walking all over it.

They are making my garden into a desert.

11 It will become dry and empty

and nothing will grow there.

The whole country will become empty

because nobody cares for it.

12 Enemies will come over the empty country.

They will come to destroy my people.

Nobody will be safe in any part of the country.

13 They will plant good seed, but bad plants will grow.

My people will work very hard, but they will get nothing.

Because I am very angry, they will not have any food.

14 I will remove all the enemies who took this country. They took the country that I gave to my people, Israel. I will take them out of their countries. I will separate the people of Judah from them’, says the LORD. 15 ‘But after I have taken away the people from Judah, I will be kind to them. I will bring them back, each to the country of his ancestors. I will bring them back to their own country. 16 Then they must learn to obey the rules of my people. They must give honour to me. They must not continue to believe in the name of Baal. They must learn to say, “As the LORD lives”. Then they will become part of my people. 17 But if the people in any country will not obey these rules, I will destroy it completely’, says the LORD.