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In Jeremiah 11 the Lord made known to His prophet a conspiracy against him by the people. Jeremiah knew others were against him, that is, they opposed him in his preaching of the Lord’s words. It does not appear, however, that he knew anything of a conspiracy against him. It shook Jeremiah hard. In chapter 12, Jeremiah laments the situation that he faces, asking the Lord hard questions. 1) Why do the wicked prosper? 2) Why do I suffer? 3) Why won’t you act? The Lord addresses these, but only in part. To Jeremiah He says that whatever anguish he is experiencing, it compares not with His anguish as He watches His children (the nation of Israel, then Judah) walk the path of destruction, not knowing where they are heading. The Lord gave them up because as they roared against Him; He knew He was not wanted. Outside forces have already begun to prey on Israel; the leaders of the nation had begun to satisfy themselves, and as they provided for themselves, the nation had begun to reap the Lord’s harvest of wrath (Jeremiah 12:17). Even in this darkness, the Lord said, that if they turn back to Him, He will hear!

If there is a point of reference similar to Israel’s for our country, from the perspective of one preacher, we (as a country) have long since past the point of no return. Could Israel have been any viler than our own current situation? Perhaps they were worse, but I confess I have a hard time seeing it. Whether we are as wicked as they once were, the point is not our destruction, as they experienced it. They had a covenant relationship, while this country does not. Covenant relationship matters bring a different response than those who do not have one.

As a nation we may not experience the destructive captivity that both the northern and southern tribes of Israel did. But in our wickedness toward the Lord’s way we ought not to think for even a moment that we are a blessed country! Whatever blessings we had in the past started slipping away a long time back. The point, though, is not our destruction, but an appeal to the Lord in the prayers offer to the Almighty that if we as a nation turn around in our way of thinking and in our way of living, then as the Lord said to the people of Jeremiah’s day, perhaps He will say the same of us. If each individual turns to the Lord, then we “shall be established in the midst of My people” (Jeremiah 12:16). RT