Why do the wicked prosper?
1 Yahweh, you are always right
1 when I complain to you;
1 nevertheless, where is your justice?
1 Why do the wicked prosper?
1 And why do traitors live in peace?
2 You plant them and they take root;
2 they grow and are fruitful;
2 they honor you with words
2 but their heart is far from you.
3 But you, Yahweh, you know me and see me;
3 you search my heart – it is close to you.
3 Send them off like sheep to be butchered;
3 put them aside for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land be in mourning
4 and the grass of the fields remain withered?
4 The birds and the beasts have perished
4 because of the wickedness of the inhabitants,
4 for they say: ‘God does not see what we do.’
5 “If you tire when running with those on foot,
5 how can you compete with horses?
5 If you do not feel secure in a peaceful land,
5 what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?”
7 I have abandoned my house,
7 I have given up my own people;
7 I have given over those I most cherished into the hands of their enemies.
8 My own have been for me like a lion in the forest;
8 they have roared against me – now I hate them.
9 My own have become for me like a bird of prey.
9 Let all the birds of prey attack them.
9 Come here, all you wild beasts and devour them!
10 Many shepherds have ravaged my vine;
10 they have trampled my beloved field
10 and made it a desolate wasteland,
11 parched and mournful in my sight.
11 But no one cares!
12 To every height in the desert de stroyers have come,
12 for Yahweh has a devouring sword.
12 It reaches from one end of the land to the other;
12 no one is safe!
13 They have sown grain and reaped thorns;
13 they have toiled for nothing.
13 Your harvests bring shame on you because of Yahweh’s anger.
14 Yahweh declares, “Because all my wicked neighbors have laid hands on the land I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their own land, and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I have done this, I will have compassion on them and bring them back to their possession, each one to his own land.
16 If then they learn the ways I taught my people and call upon my name when taking an oath, they who once taught my people to swear by Baal, may settle among my peo ple. 17 But if then any na tion does not obey me, I will uproot and destroy it – it is Yahweh who speaks.”