You are always righteous, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
I just love how polite Jeremiah is when he is questioning the Lord’s justice. He uses what I have heard is called a “compliment sandwich”; begin with a compliment, then give your complaint, and finish with another compliment. This is used in leadership and business circles. But Jeremiah uses it in his prayers.
Still, as polite as he is, he is also deeply honest. And in that honesty we see our own unasked questions. You see, there has been an assumption that we cannot be THIS honest with God. I have been asked countless times whether it’s ok to share our anger, doubt, and fear with God. My answer is always the same, “not only is it ok, it is a requirement of our relationship with God.” God won’t deal with fictional characters, only with real people. So when we approach Him with lies, masks, and hidden truth, He simply won’t deal with us. God wants the real us, however ugly that life may be. Because God doesn’t see the ugliness of our lives. He sees the righteousness of His Son who exchanged our sinfulness for his own perfection.
And besides, do we really think God doesn’t know when we’re angry, or when we doubt, or when we are afraid?