God, the Master, has sworn, and solemnly stands by his Word. The God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaks: "I hate the arrogance of Jacob. I have nothing but contempt for his forts. I'm about to hand over the city and everyone in it."
Ten men are in a house, all dead.
A relative comes and gets the bodies to prepare them for a decent burial. He discovers a survivor huddled in a closet and asks, "Are there any more?" The answer: "Not a soul. But hush! God must not be mentioned in this desecrated place."
Note well: God issues the orders. He'll knock large houses to smithereens. He'll smash little houses to bits.
Do you hold a horse race in a field of rocks? Do you plow the sea with oxen? You'd cripple the horses and drown the oxen. And yet you've made a shambles of justice, a bloated corpse of righteousness,
Bragging of your trivial pursuits, beating up on the weak and crowing, "Look what I've done!"
"Enjoy it while you can, you Israelites. I've got a pagan army on the move against you" - this is your God speaking, God-of-the-Angel-Armies - "And they'll make hash of you, from one end of the country to the other."
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)