Woe to all of you who want God's Judgment Day! Why would you want to see God, want him to come? When God comes, it will be bad news before it's good news, the worst of times, not the best of times.
Here's what it's like: A man runs from a lion right into the jaws of a bear. A woman goes home after a hard day's work and is raped by a neighbor.
At God's coming we face hard reality, not fantasy - a black cloud with no silver lining.
"I can't stand your religious meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making.
I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want? I want justice - oceans of it. I want fairness - rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want.
"Didn't you, dear family of Israel, worship me faithfully for forty years in the wilderness, bringing the sacrifices and offerings I commanded?
How is it you've stooped to dragging gimcrack statues of your so-called rulers around, hauling the cheap images of all your star-gods here and there?
Since you like them so much, you can take them with you when I drive you into exile beyond Damascus." God's Message, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
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)