_It is advisable that you prayerfully and meditatively read the text first_
*TEXT:* JEREMIAH 12:1-6.
_KEY VERSE* "Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgements: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? Wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?" (JEREMIAH 12:1)._
It was William A. Ward who said "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
Jeremiah was complaining to God, in our text, about the continued prosperity and apparent fruitfulness of those that do evil, even while they continued in their wickedness. This makes those who live righteously and serve God think there is no profit in their righteousness. Jeremiah also complained about the impact and devastation of the environment by wicked people. Fields are plundered and violence is done to animals to such inhuman extent that everyone feels unsafe; yet Jeremiah saw no immediate consequence for their actions. God asked Jeremiah to stop complaining, concentrate on his preaching and adjust his sails because things would grow worse in the future.
We can neither advance the cause of the gospel nor improve our lives through our complaints. And quite frankly, our complaints tend to limit our growth and adventurous spirit - a gift given to us by God. When Adam found himself in the Garden of Eden, there was no bank or existing industry for him to seek employment. He was simply to put his creative and adventurous spirit into the management of the resources available to him and generate value thereby.
We should concentrate on the task at hand rather than complain about the boisterous winds. Complaining about the poor handling of the economy and the failures of the government, the moral decadence of the age and the general state of things will not improve anything. Let us put the time we spend complaining into better use. Let us channel our energy and resources towards the propagation of the gospel, which has the potential to change and transform sinners. We can only advance when we leave the shores of complaints to a new destiny of discovery.
*✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY* Complaints have zero spiritual value.
*BIBLE IN ONE YEAR* GENESIS 26-28.
God's response to those who want their enemies dead
*1. Description of the wicked*
a. They are treacherous and therefore cannot be trusted, v1.
b. God is "near in their mouth" but He is far in their heart, v2.
c. As a result of their activities, the land (and inhabitants) suffer divine judgement, including the beasts, birds and plants, v4.
d. Their mentality is that God "shall not our last end", v4. To them God is blind to their actions and will not punish their evils.
*Q* Are you free from wickedness mentality?
*2. The disturbing prosperity of the wicked*
These were the disturbing observation of the prophet.
a. They do prosper. Why, vv1,2.
b. They fulfil the laws of prosperity, why does the law work for them? vv1,2.
c. They appear happy even though they are treacherous. Why?, v1.
d. Observe that many others ask the same questions e.g. Psalm 73:1-11.
*3. The destructive prayer of the prophet on the wicked*
Slaughter the wicked like sheep, v3.
*Q* What type of prayer do you pray against the wicked? Like Jeremiah?
*4. Divine response to the plea for the destruction of the wicked*
a. If you do not have the grace to deal with the wicked what will happen if you meet more wicked adversaries who want to destroy your life and destiny?, v5.
b. If you are fed up with the wicked at this time of relative peace, what happens when peace ceases totally in the land or during the Great Tribulation?, v5.
c. If you discover that your closest relation that you love most is actually the wicked, will you still pray that God should destroy them?, v6. "A man's enemies are they of his household" Praying against the unknown enemy may actually be praying against your loved ones. If you pray for their destruction, can you still claim you have the love of God for them? Wouldn't you change your prayer points for God to deliver them from the path of destruction?
d. If God prosper the wicked, does that hinder you from claiming your own greater prosperity as a child of God? Why envious of the prosperity of the wicked?
e. If you give blessings to both your good child and the disobedient, can you be accused of being unjust?
f. If the prodigal son got his own portion from his father, why did the elder one decide to remain in servitude? Whose fault?
g. If it appears the wicked is peaceful, is he truly peaceful? Does his peace ever compare with the "peace like a river" given to a child of God?
*God expects us to be praying aright when we see the prosperity of the wicked*
*Q* Do you want to be like Christ?
God I *praise your name* because you are a truly merciful God. I am a beneficiary of your mercy
Give me the true divine love that can pray for my perceived enemies like Christ
Ask for the grace and blessings that the wicked will be envious of you and not you envious of them
Lord, help your children with abundance grace to love their perceived enemies
Lord, give your children abundant faith and wisdom to claim their inheritance