Notice the pivotal question of the text: “Why does the way of the wicked prosper?” Jeremiah was struggling because when he looked around him he saw bad people thriving, and he couldn’t understand why God was letting it happen. Why doesn’t he simply punish evildoers quickly and harshly? Why do we look around us and see evil people who seem to get away with their wickedness? Examples are numerous on the world stage: terrorists, cruel dictators who bask in luxury while their people live in squalor, etc. Closer to home, we’ve probably been hurt by someone, or maybe someone we love has been hurt, and our initial reaction is to hope that the perpetrator gets punished quickly.
And yet so often it doesn’t happen. Why? What is God doing? And how should we respond to the evil in the world and those who commit it? Why does the way of the wicked prosper?