Some of the leaders of Israel approached me and sat down with me.
God's Message came to me:
"Son of Man, these people have installed idols in their hearts. They have embraced the wickedness that will ruin them. Why should I even bother with their prayers?
Therefore tell them, 'The Message of God, the Master: All in Israel who install idols in their hearts and embrace the wickedness that will ruin them and still have the gall to come to a prophet, be on notice: I, God, will step in and personally answer them as they come dragging along their mob of idols.
I am ready to go to work on the hearts of the house of Israel, all of whom have left me for their idols.'
"Therefore, say to the house of Israel: 'God, the Master, says, Repent! Turn your backs on your no-god idols. Turn your backs on all your outrageous obscenities.
To every last person from the house of Israel, including any of the resident aliens who live in Israel - all who turn their backs on me and embrace idols, who install the wickedness that will ruin them at the center of their lives and then have the gall to go to the prophet to ask me questions - I, God, will step in and give the answer myself.
I'll oppose those people to their faces, make an example of them - a warning lesson - and get rid of them so you will realize that I am God.
"'If a prophet is deceived and tells these idolaters the lies they want to hear, I, God, get blamed for those lies. He won't get by with it. I'll grab him by the scruff of the neck and get him out of there.
They'll be equally guilty, the prophet and the one who goes to the prophet,
so that the house of Israel will never again wander off my paths and make themselves filthy in their rebellions, but will rather be my people, just as I am their God. Decree of God, the Master.'"
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)