Home > Jeremiah Was a Dragon-Man > Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: Blaming God

Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: Blaming God

In chapter 11, Jeremiah was upset with the opposition he had been facing, to the point where he begs of YHWH, “let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.” Then God says that He will indeed punish those who are oppressing Jeremiah. Chapter 12 picks up just after this, with Jeremiah’s response to YHWH’s proclamation of judgment.

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 the treacherous thrive?
You plant them, they take root;
They grow and produce fruit;
you are near in their mouth
and far from their heart.
But you, O Lord, know me;
you see me, and test my heart toward you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn
and the grass of the field wither?
For the evil of those who dwell in it
the beasts and the birds are swept away
because they said, “He will not see our latter end.”

Jeremiah is pretty upset. I believe that we can, in part, read moments like these as Jeremiah experiencing some of what YHWH is experiencing. Jeremiah is not repeating the words of YHWH in this passage, but he is expressing himself to YHWH. What is fascinating is that Jeremiah’s expression of his sense of injustice reads and feels a lot like God’s expression of His sense of injustice. Jeremiah’s experience with the people as he is expressing the words of YHWH becomes like YHWH’s experience. Jeremiah is, in a way, experiencing what YHWH experienced, feeling how YHWH feels, wanting what YHWH wants, and expressing what YHWH expresses. One thing I think we can learn and apply from Jeremiah’s words is to speak to YHWH with complete honesty. Jeremiah doesn’t just say that the wicked prosper (which itself implies an unjust God), Jeremiah actually accuses God of planting the wicked and growing their wealth, blessing their crops and their life. After blaming God for causing this injustice, Jeremiah exhorts YHWH to fix the very problem He caused by putting the wicked in their rightful place and stopping their destruction of others.

We are not usually this bold, but we can be if we want to be and YHWH can handle it. It’s okay to be pissed about the wicked seeming to prosper. It is okay to blame God for things that He’s not actually at fault for. It’s okay to plead with God for justice and ask God to enact violent destruction on others.

Is it right for us to, in our hearts, be envious of the prosperity of the wicked? Blame YHWH for injustices? Consider ourselves so much more righteous than others that we want Him to save us and destroy him? These things are probably never “right,” but if they are in our hearts, then it is only right to express them honestly before God. Only when these hurts, sinful desires, and frustrations with the status quo are expressed openly to God can we give them over to Him. He will probably respond similarly to how he responds to Jeremiah, “I am dealing with those people and their sin, but my compassion for them will not cease. Even after the consequences of their sin comes upon them, those of all nations may still turn to me that I might bless them, build them, and restore them”(12:14-17). Jeremiah’s desires were like God’s as he asked for judgment, may his desires (and also ours) be like God’s as we long for the restoration of all people to YHWH regardless of their persecution of us.

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