Chapter twelve begins like so many psalms, questioning why people who are blatantly against God or only talk about him, but do not really know or worship him, have easier lives than those who follow and obey God (Jeremiah 12:1-2). 1 Jeremiah asked God that he would execute justice on the evildoers, based on his own devotion to Jehovah (Jeremiah 12:3-4).
God’s response was less than Jeremiah had desired (Jeremiah 12:5-6). He simply said, “If you cannot keep up with these minor inconveniences, how will you stay strong when things get tough?” God followed this with his oft-repeated promise of vast destruction on the nation who had turned away from him (Jeremiah 12:7-13). However, God’s trustworthiness toward his eternal and unconditional promises to Abraham is once again evident in Jeremiah 12:14-17. While it is true that the pagan nations will be judged for their own wickedness, God will preserve them and return them to their lands, just as he will with Israel. The caveat is that they must choose to worship him at that point, otherwise they will be ultimately destroyed. This future time refers to the Millennial Kingdom, when Jesus will rule over both Jewish and Gentile nations.
- See Psalm 37 and Psalm 73 for examples of this complaint by both David and Asaph, respectively. ↩