Day 222: Why Do the Wicked Prosper? (Jeremiah 12:1)

Through the Bible: Jeremiah 10-13

You are always righteous, Lord,
    when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the faithless live at ease? (Jeremiah 12:1)

We’ve all had times we wondered why bad things happen to good people. Yet, here the prophet Jeremiah wonders why good things are happening to bad people. Some Bible scholars believe he is talking about the false prophets of his day, who were enjoying the favor of the king while Jeremiah himself was being criticized.

Can you relate? The guy at the office who slacks off at work yet gets a promotion. The coach’s son who gets a starting spot even though your grandson has practiced twice as hard.

However, if Jeremiah is looking for sympathy from God, he gets a good dose of tough love instead. In verse 5, God responds,

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

While interpretations vary on the meaning of verse 5, essentially God is telling Jeremiah that if these little annoyances are wearing him out, how will he handle it when times are really tough?

For Judah, times are about to get really tough. Jeremiah will see Judah fall to Babylon in his lifetime. When she does, the irritation Jeremiah feels over these false prophets won’t seem like anything at all.

While it may not be what I want to hear, I praise God for the reality checks He graciously gives me. I know God loves me enough to always tell the truth.

Father, thank you for always speaking the truth to me in love.

Author: James

I pastor Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville, Alabama. I read a lot, write a little, and drink lots of coffee. I have three callings in life: surrender to Christ, be a husband to Trish, and be the best father/grandfather I can be. Everything else is an assignment, because everything else can be done by someone else.

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