God's Message: "Because of the three great sins of Israel - make that four - I'm not putting up with them any longer. They buy and sell upstanding people. People for them are only things - ways of making money. They'd sell a poor man for a pair of shoes. They'd sell their own grandmother!
They grind the penniless into the dirt, shove the luckless into the ditch. Everyone and his brother sleeps with the 'sacred whore' - a sacrilege against my Holy Name.
Stuff they've extorted from the poor is piled up at the shrine of their god, While they sit around drinking wine they've conned from their victims.
"In contrast, I was always on your side. I destroyed the Amorites who confronted you, Amorites with the stature of great cedars, tough as thick oaks. I destroyed them from the top branches down. I destroyed them from the roots up.
And yes, I'm the One who delivered you from Egypt, led you safely through the wilderness for forty years And then handed you the country of the Amorites like a piece of cake on a platter.
I raised up some of your young men to be prophets, set aside your best youth for training in holiness. Isn't this so, Israel?" God's Decree.
"But you made the youth-in-training break training, and you told the young prophets, 'Don't prophesy!'
You're too much for me. I'm hard-pressed - to the breaking point. I'm like a wagon piled high and overloaded, creaking and groaning.
"When I go into action, what will you do? There's no place to run no matter how fast you run. The strength of the strong won't count. Fighters won't make it.
Skilled archers won't make it. Fast runners won't make it. Chariot drivers won't make it.
Even the bravest of all your warriors Won't make it. He'll run off for dear life, stripped naked." God's Decree.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)