Jeremiah 12

* Jeremiah complains of the prosperity of the wicked. (1-6) The

heavy judgments to come upon the nation. (7-13) Divine mercy to

them, and even to the nations around. (14-17)

1-6 When we are most in the dark concerning God's

dispensations, we must keep up right thoughts of God, believing

that he never did the least wrong to any of his creatures. When

we find it hard to understand any of his dealings with us, or

others, we must look to general truths as our first principles,

and abide by them: the Lord is righteous. The God with whom we

have to do, knows how our hearts are toward him. He knows both

the guile of the hypocrite and the sincerity of the upright.

Divine judgments would pull the wicked out of their pasture as

sheep for the slaughter. This fruitful land was turned into

barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwelt therein. The

Lord reproved the prophet. The opposition of the men of Anathoth

was not so formidable as what he must expect from the rulers of

Judah. Our grief that there should be so much evil is often

mixed with peevishness on account of the trials it occasions us.

And in this our favoured day, and under our trifling

difficulties, let us consider how we should behave, if called to

sufferings like those of saints in former ages.
7-13 God's people had been the dearly-beloved of his soul,

precious in his sight, but they acted so, that he gave them up

to their enemies. Many professing churches become like speckled

birds, presenting a mixture of religion and the world, with its

vain fashions, pursuits, and pollutions. God's people are as men

wondered at, as a speckled bird; but this people had by their

own folly made themselves so; and the beasts and birds are

called to prey upon them. The whole land would be made desolate.

But until the judgments were actually inflicted, none of the

people would lay the warning to heart. When God's hand is lifted

up, and men will not see, they shall be made to feel. Silver and

gold shall not profit in the day of the Lord's anger. And the

efforts of sinners to escape misery, without repentance and

works answerable thereto, will end in confusion.
14-17 The Lord would plead the cause of his people against

their evil neighbours. Yet he would afterwards show mercy to

those nations, when they should learn true religion. This seems

to look forward to the times when the fulness of the Gentiles

shall come in. Those who would have their lot with God's people,

and a last end like theirs, must learn their ways, and walk in


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