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Quiet Time in Jeremiah 12

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Jeremiah 12 (HCSB)

Jeremiah’s Complaint

1 You will be righteous, Lord, even if I bring a case against You. Yet, I wish to contend with You:

Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the treacherous live at ease?

2 You planted them, and they have taken root. They have grown and produced fruit. You are ever on their lips, but far from their conscience.

3 As for You, Lord, You know me; You see me. You test whether my heart is with You. Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter and set them apart for the day of killing.

4 How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? Because of the evil of its residents, animals and birds have been swept away, for the people have said, “He cannot see what our end will be.”

The Lord’s Response

5 If you have raced with runners and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a peaceful land, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?

6 Even your brothers—your own father’s household—even they were treacherous to you; even they have cried out loudly after you. Do not have confidence in them, though they speak well of you.

7 I have abandoned My house; I have deserted My inheritance. I have given the love of My life into the hands of her enemies.

8 My inheritance has acted toward Me like a lion in the forest. She has roared against Me. Therefore, I hate her.

9 Is My inheritance like a hyena to Me? Are birds of prey circling her? Go, gather all the wild animals; bring them to devour her.

10 Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard; they have trampled My plot of land. They have turned My desirable plot into a desolate wasteland.

11 They have made it a desolation. It mourns, desolate, before Me. All the land is desolate, but no one takes it to heart.

12 Over all the barren heights in the wilderness the destroyers have come, for the Lord has a sword that devours from one end of the earth to the other. No one has peace.

13 They have sown wheat but harvested thorns. They have exhausted themselves but have no profit. Be put to shame by your harvests because of the Lord’s burning anger.

14 This is what the Lord says: “Concerning all My evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to My people, Israel, I am about to uproot them from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from them. 15 After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. 16 If they will diligently learn the ways of My people—to swear by My name, ‘As Yahweh lives,’ just as they taught My people to swear by Baal—they will be built up among My people. 17 However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.


SIN (verses 1-2, 5): Please forgive me for often having doubt in my heart, Father. I often see the chaos in this world and all of the brokenness and wonder why we are living like this. Why do so many bad people and non-believers prosper? Thank You for giving me clarity on this sin of mine in these verses, Father. You say that the reason for this is for our own good, because we learn more from the experiences through a rough time than through an easy time. Thank You for providing clarity to me, Father, to help me cleanse away the doubt I often feel.

PROMISE (verses 14-17): In this set of verses, You provide more clarity for me in the promise You give. You assure us that all those who are against You and Your people will one day be uprooted by You. You will show them compassion by giving them a choice and their choice will determine the outcome. The outcome will either be that they swear by You name or that they will be destroyed. Thank You for this vision, Father, that one day all will be well again on this earth. Thank You for giving hope with a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

ATTITUDE (verses 1-2): Help me to have an attitude that always focuses on You through all things, Father. As I said in my sin confession, I often see the evil of this world prosper and have doubts or want to give in. Be with me through this so that I can hear Your voice and see that Your ways are better than the world’s ways. Help me to always have an attitude that glorifies You in this life, Father. Help me to remember that one day, those evil doers who do not believe in You will be punished. Help me to never be one of those evil doers again, so that I may glorify You through all that I am and all that I do.

COMMAND (verse 17): You repeat this over and over to me, Father, but I far too often struggle with such a simple command. You command us to obey You, yet for some reason I find myself constantly giving into the flesh and the ways of the world instead of obeying You. Help me to be better at obeying You, Father. Help me to live a life from this point forward that glorifies You in all that I do instead of glorifying myself. Help me to keep You and Your will for me as my core driving factor in this life.

EXAMPLE (verse 5): The example You give to us here about why You allow unbelievers and evil persons in this life to prosper around us is amazing and gives great clarity for me. You tell us that they are permitted to be that way because it gives us a more challenging experience to learn from in this life. You give us these challenges for our own good to build us up for Your kingdom so that we will become strong and faithful servants. Without a challenging situation to build us up we would be weak and likely lost, so thank You for putting some stumbling blocks and hurdles in my path, Father. Thank You for always finding ways to build me up in this life so that I can become stronger in my faith and more resilient to the sinful worldly ways of living.

*DAILY NOTE: Doubt has plagued my life in so many ways and for so long. I have doubted You at times, my faith at times, myself, the world, this life. Doubt has been a plague the enemy has put on me for far too long. Just when I begin to doubt something, You show me a reason why I shouldn’t doubt, Father. Thank You so much for that, even though I often struggle with my stubbornness in that doubt. Thank You for remaining faithful to being my teach, counselor, and instructor in this life, no matter how often I have failed in my faith walk with You.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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