A Peek into Doubt and Pain (Jeremiah 12:1-2)

Jeremiah 12:1-2 (ESV)


1 Righteous are you, O Lord,

when I complain to you;

yet I would plead my case before you.

Why does the way of the wicked prosper?

Why do all who are treacherous thrive?

2 You plant them, and they take root;

they grow and produce fruit;

you are near in their mouth

and far from their heart.


     Sometimes, the best thing for us to see in the Bible is the honest struggle and pain of the people of God. How great a help this is for those of us who, though we know better, can drift toward doubt and discouragement. God has chosen to show us, in inspired Scripture, that men of God have expressed frustration at the seeming lack of justice and success that his people face from time to time.


     Jeremiah was frustrated and confused. He looked out over the world, and he saw that the false and the wicked were succeeding. Nations of evil men were thriving. Leaders of godless religions were leading many astray. People who mouthed the name of God though their hearts were not for God were growing their followings while Jeremiah’s influence seemed not to be strong.


     Of course, the main message that we are to gain from Jeremiah 12 is to see that God is acting, even when Jeremiah cannot see it. God promises to judge the wicked and to ultimately set all things right. We have hope in knowing that our Lord will not be ultimately defeated.


     But there is something else good to see here. Jeremiah struggled. People of God can and do struggle. Your questioning is not unheard of. This is not to say that it is OK to accuse God, for God is always right and always perfect. But, it is still comforting to know that we are not alone when we feel the dissonance of a world that is going in the wrong direction even though we know God is in control.


     So, today, Christians, let your hearts be honest before God. Do not feel that you are the only ones to have ever doubted or hurt. Do not feel that you cannot pose your questions to God. Yes, trust him. He will always do right in the eternal end. He will always be faithful. But, when you hurt, know that he knows. Know that he cares. Know that he inspired authors of Scripture to share with you their hurts so that you would see that such things happen, even to the prophets of God.